A combination will be used often as how you answer can be just as important as the answer itself. While it may not get picked up easily, I think one shouldn't forget that there can be killing two birds with one stone in the case of asking some technical questions. If someone is given a whiteboard problem then various communication skills get tested, how well does the person ask questions to clarify what is the top priority in a solution, how well can he or she articulate why his or her solution is good.
Some cautions on these questions that I don't know if you'd catch this or not as there are different interpretations one could take here:
- Do they have a general love for programming and a continual interest
in improving their skills?
This can get ugly fast as I'm not sure everyone would be all excited about programming in Assembly if their job would be doing web development using rather high level languages most of the time. That "general" can be taken in many ways that aren't so great to my mind.
- Are they willing to learn new skills?
Do you mean for this to be so open-ended? I don't think I'd want to learn how to skydive or perform open heart surgery among many other things which probably wasn't what you'd thought of in asking the question. Who wants to learn how to clean up all kinds of different chemical spills or survive a nuclear meltdown? How appropriate are those skills is a valid concern here, especially if this learning is on company time or money.
- Are they willing to take the time to share their knowledge with and help others?
This is where excesses can be brutal. Some people could have a hard time saying no and thus their work doesn't get done because someone asked and to say no here would imply a no to this general question or was it meant to be a "most of the time but not the expense of making your own deadlines" which is what most people have as a great challenge?
- Do they have a track record of success?
Who is defining "success" here? Does my existence to this point in time qualify as a success? Does the fact that I got to an interview location at the right time with appropriate clothing count as a success? Does it take a Herculean effort to make something a success?
- Will the interviewee enjoy the type of work the company is doing and be dedicated to it?
How well could a company explain what that work is and be correct in allocating various %s to how much is in each category.
- Did they work on similar projects or for similar companies before and enjoy them?
How much of the current company can be disclosed to do this properly?
- Will they like the company's culture?
Again, there is quite likely to be multiple cultures as the company could have one, the department has another and the team carries yet another as each level may be run differently and so this isn't really a good question if the team's culture is wildly different from the company as a whole.
- Are they committed to seeing projects succeed?
How committed are you wanting here? The kind of person that will put in 100+ hours and call in all the favors with all the friends to get meet a deadline, practically jeopardizing many people's health in the process? Think about how far do you want this and what if this person gets a little over zealous and wants others to go just as far?
In summary, you could look at these questions that may be useful for you just as background: