Hiring? 5 Questions you need to ask.

Hiring a new employee can be a taxing exercise – it requires money, time, and energy. While there are many ways to ‘test’ a new candidate (from CV screening to reference checks), one of the most important moments during the interview process is the interview. As an employer, this is your chance for a face-to-face conversation with a potential staff member. Questions you need to ask:

Conducting a successful interview takes skill and experience. Preparation is also key to ensure an accurate picture of the individual you’re interviewing. Here are five questions to include in a first-time interview:

  1. What kind of work environment do you enjoy?This will tell you if the candidate’s expectations of their work environment match the environment you are offering. This is important to determine the ‘fit’ of the candidate and prevent them being disappointed (and therefore less productive) if they do get the job.

  2. Why have you applied for this position? The job market is tough and some candidates apply for every job that matches their skillset (and even some that don’t). It’s important to find out how much thought the candidate has given to working in the advertised position at the advertised company, and if they really know what that position entails.

  3. How do you prefer to be managed? Questions about the manager/employee relationships will give you insight into how independent the candidate is (or think he/she is). In an organisation where individuals are expected to be fairly self-sufficient, a candidate that requires hand-holding might struggle. The same thinking applies to candidates who want to strike out on their own in an organisation that has strict reporting structures.

  4. What are the three skills you believe you will bring with you to our company? This question can be phrased in a number of ways but the idea is to understand which skills the candidate values most (these tend to be the ones they use the most and excel in).

  5. When was the last time you became so passionate about something you lost track of the time? In Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek argues that if you want your employees to move your organisation forward, you must hire people who believe what you believe. Asking about a candidate’s passions can help you understand what excites them and what will ultimately motivate them to do great work.

And, to end, a quick tip – An employee’s attitude to their work goes a long way to revealing how successful they will be as an employee. An interview gives you an uninterrupted block of time to discover that attitude. If you ask open-ended questions, you will let the candidate do 80% of the talking. For example, instead of asking “Are you available for after-hours work?”, ask “What is your plan for dealing with after-hours work?”.

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