The general questions you ask during a job interview are a given, but are you getting all of the information you need to make an informed decision? If you’re not asking questions that specifically address the candidate’s ability to succeed on the job you may end up selecting the wrong candidate.
While each job is different, some questions work well universally, regardless of the position or industry.
- Based on the specific goals for the job/position in question, ask questions that explore and assess the candidate’s likelihood to achieve the same for your company. For example, if your goal is to increase revenues by 30% over the next year, you may ask for evidence of a comparable accomplishment from the candidate’s recent past.
- Ask them to provide specifics on tough situations they met in their last position. Questions such as, “Tell me about the last time you had to manage a difficult employee — what did you do?” and “Describe one of the most stressful situations you’ve had to deal with recently,” will reveal not only the candidate’s personal management style, but also how they handle being under pressure.
- Find out how they see themselves culturally fitting into your organization. This is a great question to find out more about their values and personality. For example, if integrity is an important value to your company, you might ask the candidate, “Tell me about a time in your last job when you demonstrated integrity.” Or, “What does integrity mean to you and how does it affect how you approach your job?”
- Follow-up on questions. Digging deeper with classic questions like ‘who, what, where, why, how?’ is key to getting an accurate picture. It’s also a good way to verify that the candidate is being truthful about his or her claims. People who have done what they really claim to have done have loads of specific details to share about the experience.
- Create a Scenario Question. Take a current or past business challenge you’ve seen within your company and ask candidates to describe how they would handle this event on their own. Give them a little time to think about it. Be wary of those who answer in general terms, or don’t seem able to grasp the situation appropriately. While it’s normal to be nervous during an interview, the right candidate will think on his or her feet and come up with a well-thought answer.
While these questions may take more time to explore than the standard job interview queries, you’re likely to obtain more relevant information that will ultimately help you pick the right candidate for the job.
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