Today we continue our discussion of the “why” behind some of the most commonly asked interview questions.
Remember that a job interview is not only a legal formality as part of offering a job; it’s also an opportunity to determine whether an applicant is a cultural fit for the position, your team, and your firm in general. It’s up to you to ask the right questions within the job interview to make absolutely certain that you’re hiring the right person. Hiring the wrong person can be extra costly and add unnecessary drama in your business.
Here are X more questions you will likely ask during an interview and WHY you should ask them.
1. Describe Your Approach to Work
Assuming that the candidate meets all the qualifications of the job description, it’s important that you ask them about their working style. Does he or she prefer to work independently? Or do they enjoy a more collaborative approach? Are they a self-starter or do they perform better with specific instructions?
Why are you asking? Most open positions are filling a need within a current team. Therefore, it’s important to determine how a candidate’s style will either work for or against the styles that are currently in place. The insight into how each candidate prefers to handle their work will be invaluable in determining not only if they are the right match for the specific job—but within the team that they’d be joining.
2. Tell Me About Your Ideal Work Environment
An extension of the question above, it’s important to understand what a candidate prefers in terms of atmosphere in order to be successful. You can also ask for specific words (i.e. Provide 3 words that describe your ideal work environment), but the goal is the same. If the candidate didn’t dive into this question on their own, you’ll want to ensure that the individual can not only fill the job requirements but thrive in your organization.
Why are you asking? Again, the candidate may offer clues about their ideal work enviroment within their response to the previous question. If your office tends to operate at a fast pace with high energy and the candidate prefers a quiet environment where he or she can work independently, then they may not be a fit. Alternatively, if they explains that they prefer a lot of structure and predictability, but your office is a bit more laid back, it’s important to know that now.
Of course, some candidates will pretend that they can adapt to whatever environment they are put into (and some really can), but this question is designed to help you determine whether or not that applicant would feel comfortable in the work environment currently in place.
3. Why Are You Leaving Your Current Employer?
Assuming of course that they are currently employed, all job seekers expect this question to eventually root its ugly head.
Why are you asking? The goal of this question is to determine a couple of things. What is this person’s professional history? Are there any red flags you should be aware of? Is he or she loyal?
You, as the interviewer, are not asking the candidate to speak negatively about their current position or company. However, if you find that the individual slips into complaining mode, or that the individual has a history of job-hopping, you’re better knowing that information now than to hire unnecessary drama into your company.
4. What Most Excites You About This Job?
Ask the interviewing candidate about what initially attracted him or her to the position. What makes them the most excited about the prospect of working with your company?
Why are you asking? We’ve found that in the absence of skill, enthusiasm goes a long way and can lead to longevity with your company should you choose to hire. Therefore, if you’re interviewing for a position in which the skills to perform the job can be trained, pay particular attention to the candidate’s excitement level.
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