Guest Post By: Alaina Rivas (first posted @ Inspirity.com/blog )
It takes a lot of work to get qualified job candidates in your door for an interview. But, that’s not always your toughest task. Developing interview questions that will give you the answers you need to make the best hiring decision for your business can prove to be much more difficult. But there’s no need to walk into the interview room feeling unprepared (or to walk out feeling unsure about the candidate’s potential at your company). We reached out to the Insperity® Recruiting Services team for you to find out: What interview question do you always ask, and why?
Here are 16 questions they suggested you always ask:
1. Of your past work experiences, which was your favorite position, and why?
The answer to this question lets you know what your candidates are looking for in their next employer or position. Plus, it can provide insight on whether they are committed to the position they are applying to now.
Lydia Marie Trevino | Senior Recruiting & Outplacement Specialist | Experience: 10+ years | Twitter: @LydiaRecruits
2. Why did you apply for this particular position?
I ask this for many reasons. It can help candidates relax a bit. It is open-ended, and I can learn more about them (as with behavioral questions). Sometimes, I can also see if they have done their homework by researching the company.
Kari Galloway | Recruiting Specialist | Experience: 7 years | Twitter: @karigalloway1
3. Tell me what your ideal environment feels like – tell me about the team, the space and your role within it.
This question works best to give me some insight into the cultural fit of candidates and to show me how mature they are professionally.
Lara Selten, PHR | Recruiting Specialist | Experience: 4 years | Twitter: @LaraSelten
4. When you look at a potential company or a manager to work for, what could they offer you to help you be happy and successful during your tenure with them?
Candidates give some great responses to this question, and it gives me an idea of how they may or may not fit in with the company culture or the manager they would report to. It might also tell me that I need to dig deeper or let them just have the chance to talk more.
Beth McElroy | Recruiting Consultant | Experience: 13.5 years | Twitter: @BethMcElroy4
5. Why are you the best choice for this role? What separates you from other candidates?
First, these questions tell me how prepared they are, if they have a summary of strengths, if they know their strengths, how organized they are, and if they’ve given thought on the subject. For example, a well prepared candidate will state, “I have good technical skills,” tell me why, and move to the next strength. I call it a two-minute drill – basically they should have a short summary of why you should hire them ready to go at the start.
Second, I’ll see if they’ve thought about the role and how they fit into it. I like hearing skills especially related to the job descriptions and examples from their work experience that relate. For example, if a candidate says, “I’m good with technology,” he should follow up by discussing the different software and systems he has worked with and any achievements he made while employed.
Greg Hawke | Recruiting Specialist | Experience: 7+ years | Twitter: @greghawkes_insp
6. Why do you want to work here? (Or, why do you want this job?)
This question tells me tells me how well-spoken they are. More or less, it’s not what they say, it’s what they reveal in how they answer it. I want to know if they can explain how their skills, strengths, experience and goals relate to my open position.
Cheradan Nadzak | Recruiting Specialist | Experience: 2+ years | Twitter: @cher_jobs
7. Why are you considering changing jobs at this time?
When you find a really good candidates, it’s important to find out why they want a new job. Usually, people are either attracted by something outside of their current position (e.g., better location, different industry, etc.) or feel pushed out by something negative in their current job (e.g., boss that doesn’t respect them, not enough money, etc.).
Knowing the main driver of their job change helps you gain some control over the hiring situation. If for example, you make them an offer and they begin to reconsider taking the job, you can remind them of why they wanted to change jobs in the first place (and how your position can be an answer to that need).
8. What are you looking for in your next position?
This question tells me whether candidates are looking to grow. It’s best to hire people who seem to be moving along a career path or have some advancement strategy in mind. In most cases, employees who are trying to achieve professional goals will be more motivated and productive than those without. There’s really no right answer, but it’s a bad sign if they say, “I’m not sure,” or, “I don’t know.”
Joshua Jones | Sourcing Analyst | Experience: 6+ years | Twitter: @7Recruiter
9. For a managerial role: Have you experienced a policy change, department structure change or other significant change that was not very popular with the people it affected? If so, what was it and how did you remain flexible and productive through it?
Or, for a subordinate role: Have you experienced a policy change, department structure change or other significant change that you weren’t expecting? If so, what was it and how did you remain flexible and productive through it?
The reason I ask these questions is because there is always change within every organization. To know how someone has reacted and stayed focused through change is a good indicator of future performance.
Stormy Mazzella | Recruiting Specialist | Experience: 5 years | Twitter: @MazzellaStormy
10. What was the best job that you have had, and why?
The answer to this question can tell you a lot about the type of culture that your candidates respond well to as well as how they’re motivated to work.
11. How do you like to be managed?
The answer to this question is going to give you insight into the level of responsibility that candidates are comfortable with and will ultimately allow you to determine if your management style matches with their expectations.
Carrie Starr | Director, Recruiting Services | Experience: 15 years |Twitter: @CarrieMStarr
12. What did you like most about [a job on their resume]? What did you like least about this job?
It is very telling about candidates’ motivation, personality and potential cultural fit. If the job they least liked has similar qualities as the job you’re hiring for, then they’re probably not going to be a good fit and they won’t stick around for long, if you hire them.
Lila Holst | Senior Corporate Recruiting Specialist | Experience: 9.5 years | Twitter: @lilaholst
13. Before we dive into your work history, tell me a little bit about you and what you are looking for in a company.
I ask this at the beginning of my interviews for a couple of reasons. First, it helps break the ice with candidates. The more comfortable they are, the more relevant information we learn.
Second, it demonstrates that we care about candidates’ happiness and aren’t just worried about the right skill-fit.
Third, I can use the information they provide to sell them on the opportunity or company. For example, if a candidate says they’re looking for growth opportunities, I can point out that XYZ Company loves to promote and grow people from within.
Jennifer Maynard | Senior Recruiting & Outplacement Specialist | Experience: 18 years | Twitter: @jennmaynard0325
14. Are you willing to commute to [job location] on a regular basis?
15. What is your minimum salary requirement?
Location and money questions are a must. If they’re not in range or if the location does not work, we do not like to continue talks and waste candidates’ time.
Rachel Shaw | Supervisor, Recruiting Services | Experience: 4 years | Twitter: @rachshaw2222
16. Why are you open to new opportunities at this point in your career?
This question tells me candidates’ motivation for exploring new opportunities and helps me uncover potential red flags. If they speak ill of their current employer, job responsibilities or co-workers, it demonstrates a lack of professionalism. It also helps me to understand if they were let go due to poor performance or if they’re simply looking for a new challenge in their career.
Emilie Diehl | Corporate Recruiting Specialist| Experience: 4 years | Twitter: @EmilieDiehl
Every interview and every hire is important. We understand that recruiting new employees while juggling your regular workload can be a challenge. Insperity Recruiting Services can relieve some of the stress: find out more.
Alaina Rivas has over nine years of recruiting experience and is currently the director, recruiting services at Insperity. Her focus is in recruitment talent identification, recruitment advertising, marketing and branding methods. This enables her to find the best talent using the latest recruitment strategies, talent attraction methods and technologies. She holds a B.S. in Management, Human Resources from the University of New Orleans. You can follow Alaina on Twitter: @AlainaRivas