August 24 2019 - Hiring the right employee is a big decision that you have to get right the first time.
The cost of a bad hire can be $10,000 or more.
It's often not the fault of the HR team. Prospective employees frequently misrepresent themselves on their
resumes. That leads to an interview and a job offer.
As an HR pro, your job is to filter out those who misrepresent themselves on their resumes. You have to know the
right questions to ask a potential employee to sift through the real prospects from the wannabes.
Do you want to know what the top questions to ask job candidates are? Read on to find out.
1. How Did You Learn About This Position?
Depending on the job, you may need to hire someone with a broad range of resources at their disposal. You also
want to know if they found the position through networking or if they have some kind of personal connection to the company.
In the IT field, some candidates have a full range of resources that they can turn to for job opportunities.
They can turn to these resources if there's a particular technology challenge that needs to be solved.
2. Why Do You Want to Work Here?
You want to hire someone that's going to be engaged in their work. That's how you create employees who are
loyal and stick around for a long time.
This question will help you separate the people who are merely there to collect a paycheck from the people who
are passionate about your company. The right answers may also reveal an alignment of personal and company values.
When you find that blend of values, that’s the person you want to work for your organizations.
3. Describe Yourself in 5 Words
This is one of those interview questions that it fun, revealing, and can stress candidates out.
Some candidates will say that they don't know, others will at least give it a shot. It's a very common question
that HR professionals ask. The answers can reveal what people think about themselves and how they can contribute to your
It may also show what they value in themselves and in a company they want to work for.
4. When Was the Last Time a Project You Worked on Went Wrong? How Did You Handle It?
Once the honeymoon period subsides, the realness of the job will come to light. That usually means that something
will go wrong in the job.
People handle stress and bad situations in different ways. You want to get an honest assessment from the
candidate as to how they handle problems and stressful situations.
Some candidates will be quick to take responsibility for the situation. Others will be ready to blame everyone
else around them. Those are the people that you want to stay away from.
5. What Does a Good Leader/Manager Look Like to You?
Good managers are very difficult to find. Even if you're not hiring for a management position now, you want to
groom potential candidates for growth.
This question will give you the insight you need to determine if a candidate would be a good manager. At the
very least, you want to hire someone who understands what it takes to be a good leader at your company.
6. Explain a Concept Related to the Position in Layman's Terms
Every department has its own terminology for their work. The problem with that is that they have to communicate
with other departments that don't share that knowledge or expertise.
The potential candidate that you hire needs to be able to cut through the jargon and explain the most
complicated concepts to a beginner.
7. What’s Your Problem-Solving Method?
A big part of any job is solving problems. You want to gain insight into a candidate’s ability to think clearly
and rationally to solve problems and challenges.
The best way to get the insight you need is to give them a hypothetical situation related to their job. Give
them a problem and ask them how they would go about solving it.
How to Get the Most Out of an Interview
There are a few ways you can set up your systems to get the most out of the interview process without taking
too much of your time and resources.
Hiring Takes Teamwork
You don't want the entire hiring process to fall only on your shoulders. You want to make sure that you're
spreading the responsibility around the organization. In HR, you're not likely to work with the candidates a lot after
It's critical to get buy-in from the department head and senior employees before you hire someone. They fully
understand what the job entails and
Let the Potential Employees Ask Questions
You can always tell when someone is engaged in the hiring process by the questions they ask. When you are
interviewing employees, you want to encourage them to ask questions.
It also shows the level of research they've done about your organization and how much they know about the
Sharpen Your Listening Skills
Interviews can seem one-sided where you're just asking questions all day long. Sometimes, you're thinking
about the next questions to ask a potential employee. You're not listening to what the candidate is saying.
You're missing opportunities to create a conversation with a potential employee. You're also missing clues
and insights to follow up on during the interview.
The Top Questions to Ask a Potential Employee
You need to get new hires right the first time. Hiring the wrong person can cost your business thousands, which
can be better spent elsewhere.
It can be difficult to find the right candidate, especially when so many prospects embellish their skills. You
need to know the best questions to ask a potential employee in order to find the diamonds in the rough.
The questions listed here enable you to get insights into a prospect's personality and experience. That will
help you weed through potential employees to find the right person for the job.
Do you want more HR tips? Come back to this site often for more top hiring tips.