Monthly Archives: April 2017

Interview Questions Candidates Want You to Ask

Job candidates aren’t looking for an easy interview. They are looking for a great job fit.

We talk a lot about questions hiring managers and recruiters should ask, but we never talk about the questions that the job candidates actually want to be asked. If you want to find the best people for your open positions, try some of these questions:

“What makes you angry?” It made me think about how I apply my personal values in a work situation.

“Have you remained close with any former colleagues from past jobs?” It made me reflect on how shallow my work relationships have been.

“What’s the difference between a ’rounding error’ and a cost overrun?” The man who was going to hire me had used the dismissive phrase ’rounding error’ at least twice in his conversations with me, so when his manager asked this, I realized he wanted to know if I would challenge my boss.

“How would your integrate HR throughout our Company?” I was floored by it because this showed how the company I was considering viewed the value of HR. I like questions that press in on people.

“Who would you have saved first if your last company premises caught a fire?” It got me thinking. A lot. It made me think beyond conventional work relationships and pushed me to think about who were my friends at the last workplace. Brilliant question!

“What do you think would be your biggest challenge in this role? How would you struggle most to get up to speed?”

“What makes you think you can do this job?” The job was a pool manager for four pools in Baltimore, every one of which was closed by the health department the previous summer.

“Here are the problems with this job,” and then she listed several serious issues, “do you think you could work with that?” I loved this question because I knew my boss was going to be straight forward and I knew the challenges coming into it. I took that job and stayed there for 9 years, so clearly, being honest didn’t scare me away. I was grateful to not be shocked when I started.

Note that these questions aren’t easy and they aren’t pulled off a list. They aren’t something you can prepare for by Googling. They are often position specific. Your job candidates want to be challenged. A tough interview is more likely to result in a better job.

When you’re interviewing, it’s not like shopping for the best bargain off the shelf’; it’s like a date where you are each getting to know each other. You want to know what makes your candidates tick and how they would act in the job. They want to be in a position that fits them.

Additionally, be willing to open up yourself and answer their questions-even if they are

By Suzanne Lucas

Sometimes, I hire bad interviewees. And you should too!

Don’t be afraid to hire a bad interviewee.

One of my favorite things about recruiting in the corporate environment is an invested, long term interest in making quality hires. The collaboration and alignment of the talent acquisition and management organizations is essential to identifying and acquiring great talent. Part of the value talent acquisition can bring to the table is our extensive experience interviewing and hiring quality candidates. Since we do this for a living, we should absolutely be experts with an ability to bring some additional insights to our management partners. In the coming months, I am going to have a series of short posts outlining some tips that I share with interviewing teams to make them more effective during the hiring process. They might even help you!

This week my advice is not to be afraid to hire someone that might have had a bad interview. Anyone with any experience interviewing is familiar with the behavioral interviewing approach – the classic, “tell me about a time when” or, “give an example of” questions. When you use this approach, you’re typically looking for the candidate to outline the situation, the task, the action and the end result. The problem is that we often fall into a trap and instead of evaluating a person’s ability to do the job, we’re evaluating their ability to answer questions. This is a certain value in behavioral interviewing, but it is important to look past the surface of a “bad” response.

On many occasions I’ve received feedback from hiring managers that a candidate was too nervous, or was unable to provide specific examples in response to their questions. Whether it is an entry-level candidate or a seasoned professional, being nervous is part of interviewing. It is also possible that there was a misunderstanding or (bear with me here) you did not ask an answerable interview question.

In short, this tip is about examining your intentions so that you’re evaluating candidates on culture fit and ability to do the job vs. the ability to answer your questions. When you can see past a poor interview and instead see a good employee, the payoff is often big for all parties involved.

Happy Hiring!


(this article originally appeared on LinkedIn)

Posted by Brendan Orf