The four essential questions in an Interview.
Having spent at least half an hour taking your candidate through the set of specific behavioral or competency related questions and you are satisfied with the responses, you should then ask the five essential questions that will prove invaluable to any hiring manager.
Whilst these specific questions don’t focus at all on a candidate’s past behavior or personal attributes, they will tell you (very quickly) just how serious the person sitting in front of you is about their job search and ultimately about working for your organization.
1: Why are you really sitting in front of me today?
The answer to this question will reveal whether your candidate is running away from something (eg a hostile working environment, bad manager, job they have grown to dislike etc), or whether they are running toward something (eg a better job, a new career direction, or a new challenge through a more senior position etc).
2: What are you ideally looking for in your next position?
This is where you basically ask your candidate to create a wish list for their next role. Get them to talk through it right there in front of you (and remember to write it all down). Ask them to think about everything from:
– What type of manager they want to work for;
– What hours they want to work;
– Whether they want any more flexible working arrangements
– Whether they expect any particular benefits (eg car allowance, parking, mobile phone reimbursement);
or what additional training they may be expecting etc.
Once you have a full understanding of what they’re looking for, you will know whether you are able to meet their wishes.You will also be able to come back to this list at the time you make them an offer and remind them of exactly what they told you they wanted. No last minute or unexpected demands.
3: What salary are you on now?
It’s an unfortunate fact but the majority of people will typically ‘stretch the truth’ slightly in response to this particular question. Candidates will
always inflate their current salary. Fortunately there is a way to prevent this.
a way to phrase the question might be, “If I were to ask for a payslip, what salary will it indicate you are currently on?”. Whilst it might cause the candidate to become fidgety for a minute, or to break eye contact for a second, you are more likely to get a straight answer.
4: How will your manager/organization react when you resign?
Again this might seem like bit of an odd question to ask the first time you meet a candidate, but it will tell you a lot.
If your candidate tells you that the manager would completely understand and respect their decision or perhaps even that they wouldn’t be at all surprised, then you’re OK.
But if the candidate responds by saying their manager will probably offer them more money, there is only one thing for you to do. Send them back to work, suggest they call a meeting with their current employer and to actually ask for a pay rise. If the request isn’t granted, tell them to then come back to you. After all, why should you waste your time going through the entire recruitment process with a great candidate who, when they resign, is offered more money and then turns your offer down? They’ll be happy but you’ll be back to square one.