Hiring right NOW requires the right questions

We do a lot of interviewing of candidates, and it is often how you ask the question that really makes a difference in getting the information you need to find out if a candidate is a good fit for your position. Here are a few of our favorite questions:

  • Of all the positions you have held, which one was the one where you felt most energized and committed to your work? Why?  Which one was the one where you felt the least energized and committed and why? [What really is the candidate’s “passion” or preferred work and what they don’t like to do.]
  • What causes stress for you at work? What might we see if you are stressed? What is going on inside of you? [Looking for the candidate’s ability to self-observe, that s/he can tell you what causes stress (it can be different for different candidates), and how the candidate perceives him-/herself when stressed. Some candidates tell you that they are calm on the outside — the question is, “What is really going on on the inside?” Can the candidate tell you that?]
  • Tell us about a challenging situation you have had with a client. How did you handle it? [Looking for what the candidate deems a “challenging situation” and how it was handled.]
    Which has been the best manager/mentor you have worked with? Why? Which is the most challenging manager/mentor? Why? [Looking for how this person likes to be managed. Listen closely if you are the manager — can you work with this person? Does the position match this person’s preferences?]
  • Tell us about a decision you have made at work or in your life that, looking back, you would have made a different decision. [Looking for the candidate’s ability to self-reflect and learn from mistakes.]
  • When you start a new position, what is the best way for you to ramp up into that position? What training style works best for you? [Their response will help you determine how best to train this candidate if hired.]
  • What are the characteristics or qualities that are most important to you about the next company you join? [What is most important to this candidate?]
  • We all know that everyone is looking for great candidates and the supply is limited right now. Be sure to ask the right questions so that you can act quickly on candidates. Companies that have a quick and effective hiring process are winning in this tight employee market!

If you’d like to look over your hiring process and need some help streamlining it or developing position-specific questions, we are only one phone call away!

Theresa Gale