Interview Questions That Will Tell You Everything | Maine

Interviewing job candidates is tough. Employee fit is crucial, and many times, candidates will prove to be much better at interviewing than actually working. In the grand scheme of things, the interview process is such a short amount of time to determine if the candidate is right for your business.  How can you acquire honest insight into the core information you need?

Fortunately, there is a simple, yet highly effective method to quickly learn about the candidates you interview. Start from the beginning of the candidate’s work history, and move quickly through each subsequent job, asking the same three questions without seeking great detail. Within a few minutes, you will undoubtedly have learned something, positive or negative, about the candidate that you would not have learned otherwise.

  • How did you find out about the job? Many candidates will find their first few jobs through online postings, general listings, or job fairs. However, if a candidate continues to find each new job this same way, chances are, they have not yet figured out what it is they would like to do or where they would like to do it. This could also mean they are looking for just any job, and not specifically your job. If a candidate has made it through their first few jobs without being pulled into a job by someone they previously worked for or with, this could be a red flag. Potentially, this shows the candidate did not build relationships or make a lasting impression to make someone familiar with their work ethic and level of competence want to pull them into their organization.
  • What did you like about the job before you started? Each candidate should have a reason for accepting their previous positions. Quality employees work hard because they appreciate their work environment and enjoy what they do, regardless of title or salary. If your candidate has a legitimate answer to this question that is more than “great opportunity”,  “learning experience”, or “next career step”, they most likely have a solid grasp of what kind of work motivates and challenges them, and the type of work they are actively seeking.
  • Why did you leave?   The answers to this question will run the gamut. Some candidates will leave for a greater opportunity or higher salary; however, many will leave because of employer demands or not being able to work well with the employer or coworkers.  In these instances, steer clear of being judgmental or prompting for more information and stick with the quick rhythm of the three questions through each job.  This will make it easier for the candidates to be more open and candid with you, potentially describing issues they may otherwise have not shared.

Although obtaining an accurate read of a candidate during the interview can be tricky, following this simple method can open doors to insightful dialogue. The initial and candid responses you receive from your candidates will often give you a look into the “big picture” of what they would be like as an employee and help make your hiring decision easier.  If you are looking for help hiring top job candidates, contact the experts at Springborn Staffing today!

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