3 Essential Questions Hiring Managers Should Ask Candidates

Hiring Managers Should Ask Candidates

There are many sophisticated tools and metrics on the market today to help hiring managers determine competitive candidates. But is complicated always better? I have enlisted some easy essential questions may help identify candidates who have the skills, motivations and values to be successful on the job and in the organization. Let us deep-dive into this talent acquisition arena of HR Managers.

“It has been said that hiring employees is a science and an art.

The process may be analogous to placing a large wager on a horse at the racetrack. Hiring managers, after spending considerable time and money, are betting their horse will win by contributing to the organization and staying with them for a reasonable amount of time.

These essential questions hiring managers may hedge the bet by providing a more holistic view of candidates.

  1. Can they do it?
  2. Will they do it?
  3. Will they fit in?

Can they Do it?

This is probably the most straightforward of the three questions. Does the candidate have the skills and abilities to do the job?

This may seem like a matching game when hiring an accountant or other position where there are industry standards, professional associations, and college degrees to compare. It becomes a little murkier when hiring a manager, which can mean many things according to the position, the company and the industry. The skills and experiences of a manager in the fast-food industry may be very different from a candidate with a manufacturing background.

Even if candidates have similar backgrounds, there’s no guarantee they are proficient in their skill set. Competency-based interview questions may help determine if the candidate’s qualifications align with the job posting and the current needs of the organization.

Interview Questions

What learning and training have you taken to stay current with trends and changes in your job and industry?

Rank yourself from 1-5 in the key areas of the job (i.e. communication, technical, analytical) and explain your ranking for each.

Share your biggest success story related to this skill.

Tell me something you’ve taught yourself in the last six months.

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3 Essential Questions Hiring Managers Should Ask Candidates

Will they Do it?

Trying to understand a candidate’s motivation means the hiring manager has to transition from a skills-matching mindset to becoming a detective who is looking for clues about the candidate’s intentions. These essential questions hiring managers can put forth to stay on track for the same. Guessing wrong can be the difference in hiring a key contributor ora clock watcher who has plenty of skills, but doesn’t want to use them. Thousands of dollars are at stake if the wrong person is selected.

A candidate may lack motivation for many reasons: they landed in the wrong career field, they burned out at their last job or maybe they are distracted by personal issues that have come to the forefront. Unfortunately, some issues are not revealed until the probationary period has ended. There are two kinds of motivators: intrinsic (internal drive) external (rewards). Understanding a candidate’s values (i.e. respect, commitment, creativity) can provide clues to what motivates some employees to be successful while others just show up for work. It is often thought that money is a key motivator and an important retention tool for employees. While compensation is certainly important, surveys usually rank money (especially for Millennials) behind workplace flexibility, development, health and well-being and purpose.

No amount of money will save a top performer who values flexibility and open communication from leaving an organization where management doesn’t exhibit or understand these values. Unlike training for a new skill, motivation cannot be taught and is often difficult to assess. But there are clues.

Interview Questions

Discuss the characteristics of someone you consider to be a role model.

What excited you about your last job?

Discuss what it means to be successful in your career and life.

If you had unlimited wealth and could not fail, what would you do?

Will they Fit in?

This is the trickiest question of the three and the most important. Before hiring managers can determine if a candidate will fit into the organizational culture, they have to understand the culture where they work and be able to provide examples. A candidate may have a wonderful skill set and be motivated but may discover the work setting is wrong for them after three months on the job.

For instance, if an organization (think Zappos) values giving employees autonomy to make their own decisions and considers making mistakes part of the learning process—candidates who need a lot of hands holding and have a fear of failing may not be a fit.

A toxic culture that allows gossip and retaliation may not be a fit for employees who value honesty, integrity and open communication. Bad organizational cultures not only drive employees away, but they can also be bad for their health. The book “Dying for a Paycheck” claims that workplace stress is the fifth leading cause of death in the US & some of the factors along with it are lack of autonomy, work-family conflicts and excessive work hours. Culture, like motivation, is connected to purpose, which is a key demand for younger workers today. If an organization’s purpose—why it exists—does not ring true for candidates; they may continue searching for opportunities, even after they accepted the job offer.

Interview Questions

Why do you think our company exists and why does that appeal to you?

What expectations do you have of senior leadership?

Describe the kind of culture you would create in this company if you were the boss.

What is the biggest problem in most offices today?

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The Inspirit Way

The above listed are 3 Sharp Essential questions hiring managers should ask a potential candidate before hiring them to put forth by Mr Bellar. Millennials today, have a different set of expectations altogether in this fast-paced corporate world. An amalgamation of skills, abilities & work-culture compatibility is to be given a keen eye for finding the perfect fit for a job role. Interview questions for each segment have greatly highlighted to understand the niche at its best.

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