Ask These 5 Questions to Really Get to Know Your Candidates

Interviewing Ask These 5 Questions to Really Get to Know Your Candidates

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Team of employees sitting around a table in a meeting having a discussion.

Oftentimes, candidates come to an interview with a scripted rehearsal of answers to potential interview questions. Of course, the purpose is not to stump your interviewee, the point would be to learn more about them, their interests on a personal level, their motivations, get them excited to talk about something that seems to be outside of the box from a typical interview with typical interview questions.

What do you think about when you’re alone in your car? (Glassdoor)

If nothing else, this question digs into what your candidate spends their time thinking about and lends insight into what’s important to them.

Why does this matter to you? It’s one of those questions that candidate probably would want to answer. Most people enjoy when others are interested in hearing more about them, as it helps build a relationship and connection. It can also help break the ice and be a good way to segway into an interview or out of one, leaving a positive overall first impression.

What do you work toward in your free time? (Quora)

Again, this question is going to offer up some insight into what is important to your candidates. It also is going to tell you about your candidate’s drive or level of ambition. If they spend their free time doing a whole lot of nothing, you might conclude that some of these tendencies will show up in the workplace as well.

What your candidates choose to spend their free time doing reflects their values and what better way to determine a fit factor for your company than to learn about what your team values?

What’s the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it? (FlexJobs)

Similar to the above question, this question can dig even deeper into someone’s values and interests. It can be another way to break the ice or lead into learning about sharing common interests. It also helps you pinpoint what’s important to your candidate.

Tell me something about your last job, other than money, that would have inspired you to keep working there. (Quora)

This question can reveal a lot about what is important to your candidate from a work and benefits perspective. When you know what motivates your candidates and employees, you can better tailor your offerings and extracurricular activities to them

If you don’t get this job, what’s your backup plan? (Quora)

This question is great to learn about your candidates planning abilities, initiative, and resourcefulness.

Insight and Connection

The best thing about these questions is that there’s no right or wrong answer. In fact, there’s not even an implied right or wrong answer for these questions, which ensures that your candidates are truly winging it and answering from a genuine place instead of with answers they read are good responses or with what they think you want to hear.

It also gives you the chance to present yourself as a company that’s also concerned with culture and shows your candidates that while your main objectives are to get things done, there’s still time for a human connection among all the ‘business’ happening.

So many topics surround what kind of interview questions are asked and how prospective employees can successfully answer them. When you ask a question that’s outside of the norm you’ll gain insight into your candidate’s creativity, ability to think on the fly, and their genuineness. What better way to understand what kind of candidate you have on your hands and how they’ll complement your company culture than to learn about what makes them, them?

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