The interview is one of the best ways to assess candidates for presentation, verbal communication skills, and culture fit. Recruiting today is different than it was even a few short years ago, requiring a paradigm change, especially in the type of creative interview questions you need to ask.
Recruiting experts like Georg Bradt, management consultant and “New Leader’s Playbook” author, know that the right interview questions can mean the difference between a successful hire or an extended recruiting process. The right interview questions help you get right to the information you want and need from candidates to make the best hiring decisions.
Three True Job Interview Questions
Bradt says the only three true job interview questions are “Can you do the job?” “Will you love the job?” and “Can we tolerate working with you?” He claims all other interview questions are based on or are a variation of these three questions that seek information on strengths, motivation, and fit.
More than technical skills, leadership and interpersonal skills mean a candidate can not only do the work, but truly perform all the nuances of the work. Ask candidates what they’ve done successfully, what they’ve done poorly, and what they’ve outright failed at, and what happened in each case. This reveals a candidate’s strengths as well as ability to discuss experience and performance.
Ask candidates creative interview questions that will reveal how much they will enjoy the job, such as how they like to work, what they like in a work environment, and what makes them feel good about work. If their answers fit with your workplace environment and culture, they will be more likely to love the job than if it’s an environment they’re not comfortable in or doing work that they’re not comfortable with.
Throw Out Standard Interview Questions
Recruiting expert Dr. John Sullivan says that interview questions that focus on the past are just not as effective as interview questions that ask how the candidate will perform in your workplace today and going forward. He also reminds people that traditional interview questions focused on getting historical information out of candidates bore top performing candidates and will lose them.
Sullivan recommends asking candidates unique interview questions instead of the standard “What are your strengths?” questions. Ask about current work problems that you need solved in your business. Ask candidates to identify problems in processes, systems, or products and what their plan is for the job to see how much awareness they have of your work environment and business operations. Ask creative interview questions about how candidates learn and plan to keep learning to stay on the leading edge of new technologies and processes.
Interview Questions for Passive Candidates
Interview questions for passive candidates should have a different focus than for active candidates. Recruiting expert Lou Adler recommends talking to passive candidates about career growth rather than compensation and what kind of person is successful in the open position rather than what skills and qualifications are needed. Ask interview questions that reveal information about why they would consider making a move, such as “What would you need from your current employer to make you stay if you had your dream job offer?” and “What are the top factors that would make you consider a career move?”
Interview questions in 2015 are different than interview questions in 2010 because the candidates are different, the recruiting environment is different, and the job market is different. Social media, mobile technology, a large and growing younger workforce, and a chameleon economy have all created the perfect storm to morph the recruiting process into an exchange that requires creative and unique interview questions. Take note and make sure you’re asking the right interview questions for new and improved hiring outcomes.
Andrew Greenberg’s roots in recruiting date back to 1996. He has experience both on the agency-side and corporate-side of the staffing business, with a focus in the financial services space at companies like Bloomberg and UBS. He also has core experience with information technology staffing, and has worked for major software companies such as SAP Business Objects and IBM/Informix Software. To get in touch with Andrew, you can reach him by email or by phone at (800) 797-6160.