March 25, 2014 – Colleen Niese – Insights

Find Out What You Really Need To Know In Candidate Interviews

People looking for job . Career opportunity concept.
People looking for job . Career opportunity concept.

In approximately sixty minutes, a job interviewer has to figure out if the person sitting across the desk can do the job, lead others and fit into the company’s overall culture and strategic direction. Regardless of the professional position being sourced to fill, there are a few key questions that can meet these objectives when posed in a particular way.

  1. What aspects of the job can you contribute to immediately and what others will you need more support to achieve? As opposed to “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” which candidates struggle with answering honestly, the answer to this question tells the interviewer a couple of things: the candidate’s self rating of his own ability to perform key job responsibilities and insight on the training he will need throughout his onboarding program.
  1. What parts of your current position do you find satisfying and what are you looking to add or change in your next step? Again, unlike the traditional, “where do you see yourself in five years?” this question encourages the candidate to articulate to the interviewer those elements of her current job that drive passion and career objectives in her search for the next career move. Most people literally guess where they’ll be in five years, which doesn’t add much value to the specific performance requirements the hiring manager has with the open position.
  1. Why are you looking at this opportunity? Adding the phrase “this opportunity” focuses the candidate to discuss the open position within the hiring manager’s company as opposed to providing a general answer related to work/life balance, listing the reasons why she doesn’t like her current position, and what she expects from her next job, regardless of the company or industry. When it comes to this question, I particularly like to listen for responses that tie the candidate’s career desires to what the job opening asks for, namely responsibility, expertise and skill.
  1. What questions do you have about the job, the team, and/or the company? Like number three above, simply asking, “what questions do you have?” may solicit a response from the candidate that’s actually out of scope for the interview. Tailoring it by asking for questions specifically related to the position in the context of team and company keeps the candidate on track and provides the interviewer an opportunity to evaluate if the candidate is looking at the job beyond the interview; i.e., has really thought about what it would be like to work for the company.

Are you interested in more information about recruitment practices? uDrive subscribers have access to tools and templates that can help. These can be found in the Recruitment section of the Human Resources Library.