We’re expanding this year with resumes arriving by the dozens. Any favorite interview questions?
Congratulations on your growth! Hiring smart is critical. It’s better to eliminate candidates who won’t perform technically or interpersonally from the selection process rather than deal with eliminating from your workforce. And yes, you bet, I have some favorite questions.
Why did you (or would you) leave your most recent employer?
(and the employer before that, and the employer before that…) Collect clues about underlying motivations and ability to work as part of a team. Keep asking if you get cliché answers like “It was time for a new challenge.” Maybe it was, but why?
How do you manage stress?
Employees with high-stress lives bring stress to the workplace, creating unnecessary drama. If the candidate has a stress management plan and regular coping activities, I’m reassured.
What would your co-workers say they like most and least about working with you?
This little gem yields surprisingly candid answers. Put your hand on a phone and mention a call to a person whose name the candidate provides. Expand this question to include “What would your boss say?” and “What would your employees say?” for additional scoop.
How would you approach (a real-life challenge the job incumbent can expect)?
Great question that pulls double duty, offering what org psych experts call an “RJP” (realistic job preview) to the candidate and displaying his or her problem-solving skill and knowledge base.
What other positions are you considering?
Ask about their other prospects. It’s an advantage to you in offer negotiation, and shines light on what types of work they’d consider. On the flip side, I advise candidates to ask how many others are in the running and their rank in comparison to get a feel for the competition.
Most helpful constructive criticism you’ve received? How did it help you?
If they can’t think of any, perhaps they’re resistant to coaching or uninterested in development. Check it out.
- Use a statistically valid personality assessment to learn more about your top 2-3 candidates.
- Use the same outline of questions with each candidate, allowing unique follow-up questions.
- Ask yourself, “Is this question job relevant?” If you can’t explain how the question relates to position, don’t ask, which will reduce bias.
You should be recruiting while you’re legally discriminating among candidates. Sell the job. Share positive personal stories of your career at the company. Why do you choose to stay? The best candidates choose among multiple offers, help yours be their first choice.
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