There are some people who simply have a talent for spotting talent – they can sit in on interviews and know within a few minutes whether a candidate would be a good hire or not. But for most of us, a little more inquisition is required. And knowing what questions to ask, or what responses to listen for, isn’t always as easy as you might think.
If you are compiling your own interview questions, these are three you should absolutely include.
  • What can you tell me about yourself? Opening with this question accomplishes a few different things. First, it sets the interviewee at ease by giving them a moment to talk about something they are experts on: themselves. And second, it gives you an opportunity to evaluate how confident that candidate is, and what he or she deems important enough to share. This can give you a lot of insight into the candidate’s professional values and their ability to communicate with others.   
  • What about this opportunity, and our company, do you find most appealing? The best hires are those who aren’t simply looking for a job – they are looking for this job. You want to hire people who specifically want to work for you, because that passion will most likely carry over into career longevity and a commitment to quality work. By asking this question, you can gauge how much the candidate knows about both the position and your company, and how passionate (or apathetic) they may be about this opportunity.  
  • How have you contributed to the success of the companies you were previously employed by? This is a question that gives your candidates an opportunity to shine, assuming they are confident and knowledgeable enough to take it. The best responses here will flow naturally and without hesitation, but they will also include quantifiables as opposed to platitudes. Meaning, you want to hire the candidate who can tell you what they’ve done and exactly how it helped (saved x amount of funds, increased productivity by x percent, resulted in accommodations, etc.) rather than one who vaguely tells you they were known for their ability to interface with customers.
From an HR standpoint – your interviews should consist of the same questions for every candidate, no matter how soon you know whether or not they would be a good fit. You should also be writing those responses down and maintaining accurate files for a period of time. But when you ask the right questions, the right candidate becomes obvious. Happy hiring!

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