hiring a candidate

Ask These 7 Questions Before Hiring a Candidate

Ask These 7 Questions Before Hiring a Candidate

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Although hiring authorities immediately think of some typical questions for interviewing potential new employees, it’s time to update the formula by asking beneficial questions. Why? Well, many candidates will probably anticipate the most common questions and could have a generic answer prepared.

As the person in charge of hiring top talent for a position on your team, you won’t get what you need from a generic answer. What you need is to get genuine replies from the first job interview to clarify if this person can go from an interesting candidate to a valuable team member.

Here are 7 people-centered questions to ask in a job interview 

1. Why should I hire you?  

Instead of complying with the obvious and impersonal “what are your skills?”, shoot straight with this relevant question. In a way, this question guides candidates to look both inward and outward to analyze and explain their best features and the ones that fit the job best to secure a place in the company. So, instead of getting a list of googled “top ten skills for X role,” you will get a real answer.  

2. What do you think that we should be doing better? 

This works in two ways. First, you skip the cold “do you know our company?” ritual while still addressing this concern. And second, it tests the candidate’s knowledge about your industry. It is also a chance to showcase the candidate’s potential to create solutions and solve problems under pressure; this translates to how they will perform in their daily tasks. 

3. What have you learned about yourself in your previous roles? 

Avoid the typical “what have you been up to?” and go straight to the details about your candidates’ trajectory and how they have grown through their professional journey. You will likely learn about their relationship with previous employers and coworkers, their work stability, and how they make decisions based on their professional interests and goals. 

4. Please share with me (us) the story of a mistake you went through and what you learned from that

Instead of asking “what are your weaknesses?”, let them explain how they perceive their mistakes, their capacity to face and accept them. Through this question, you still learn about their weaknesses and how they take responsibility for them but through a holistic approach. It’s not about finding the perfect person; it’s about measuring if those weaknesses represent a significant risk for the position or not. 

5. How have you helped someone else in your team succeed? 

Want to know if they are team players? Don’t ask them directly. Synergy is the most powerful force an organization achieves when all its members can work as a team. You need to learn about your candidates’ collaboration style (or even if they have any) and how they have helped their past coworkers thrive in their respective roles. 

6. When have you felt truly fulfilled in your career? 

Walk away from the mundane “what are your goals?”. By understanding what genuinely motivates your candidates, you will learn about their mindset and where they are headed. Whether they value money, a renowned position, or to work in what they are passionate about, this question will highlight your candidates’ features, as workers, and as human beings. 

7. If you could magically solve any problem in the world, what would you solve, and why? 

This is one powerful question your candidates won’t see coming. With this question, you can explore your candidates’ values and maybe even their purpose. And yes, you are looking for the best people to hire, but no mind-blowing skillset is worth adding if a candidate doesn’t align with your company values. Knowing what is relevant in the world for your candidate is a way to understand if they are a match. 

Weighing in your impact on the hiring process

Lastly, here is one question you should ask yourself before every interview:

What can I do to help my candidates excel at this job interview? 

A lot of hiring managers act as if their work is to menace their candidates. How can one expect their candidates to show their best if they enter an uncomfortable atmosphere during the job interview? A lot of your candidates can have the best talent in the market, but if you don’t make suitable questions or don’t help them show their best, then no candidate will make the cut. 

In addition to the routine questions candidates are expecting, these kinds of people-centered questions will help you find, not just the most skillful candidate, but a genuine collaborator. Remember, the best way to choose a valuable team member is to see the person behind the talent. 

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