Interviews are perhaps the most important stage of the recruitment process. They provide you with the invaluable opportunity to see your candidate “in the flesh”; to get a sense of who they are, what they’re motivated by, and just how good a fit they’ll be in your workplace.
However, all too often, you’ll find yourself frustrated after the interview is over, wishing that you’d asked certain questions to help you understand the person more fully. It’s easy to focus too heavily on job history and qualifications, which can stop you getting the “full picture” about your candidate.
Here’s some things you should keep in mind when preparing your interview questions.
Important Things to Find Out at Interview
What’s their work ethic?
You could be talking to the most amazingly qualified candidate ever, but if they haven’t got a strong work ethic, they won’t yield great results for your company. Ask them about projects they’ve worked on in the past, and get them to talk at length about the contribution they made. What were they willing to do to ensure that project was a success?
It’s also worth asking them about major achievements in life, both in work and in their private lives. Have they successfully climbed Mount Kilimanjaro? Were they awarded employee of the month in their last role, three months in a row? These types of achievement are all good signs that they are willing to put in the effort to get results.
How good are they at working in a team?
Regardless of the nature of your business, it’s likely that teamwork will be an important aspect of its successful operation. As a result, you’ll want to find a candidate who can work well with your existing employees.
Ask them to tell you about a time they’ve collaborated with others in order to achieve something. Present them with an imaginary scenario, such as disagreeing with a colleague on how best to approach a task, and ask them how they’d deal with the situation.
How good are they with customers and clients?
Generally speaking, you should get a good idea about this by judging how they present themselves to you. Are they warm and approachable? Do they seem happy to answer the questions you ask them? Do you find yourself liking them? If so, these are all great signs that they’ll be adept at dealing with your valuable clients.
Are they proactive?
Initially, any new employee requires a certain amount of guidance. But ultimately, you want to find someone who can work off their own initiative, who is proactive and not afraid to think creatively.
Ask them to share stories about times where they’ve used an innovative approach to solve a problem at work, or an occasion they’ve been proactive in order to get the task achieved within deadline.
A Two-Way Process
Of course, interviewing is about finding out more about your candidate. However, it’s also a chance for them to find out more about you and your business, which is equally important. Don’t be afraid to explain to them exactly what you’re looking for. In fact, it’s advisable you do so – to ensure there’s no confusion about the role or your expectations.
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
About the author
Karen Rehn has 13 years experience in the staffing industry. Her zest for business and desire to leave Wisconsin winters behind led her to purchase Helping Hands Staffing Services, which is now known as HH Staffing. She says, “One of the greatest rewards of working in the staffing industry is the ability to make a real difference in the lives of others, I truly believe that our industry has an obligation to actively contribute to enhancing our communities and improving the lives of our employees.”
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
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