Job interviews are a part of every company’s hiring process; not only are they necessary, they’re important. A job interview is often your first face-to-face meeting with a candidate, and gives you an opportunity go further than their resume to get genuine feel for the person.
With thousands of possible interview questions and limited time, how do you know which ones to ask? Here are three must-ask questions for every job interview and why each is important:
1. “What is causing you to consider other options of employment right now?”
This question is important because it helps uncover the real reason a person is looking for a new job. It can offer insight into the person’s mindset and motives for change, as well as help you determine if their situation is out of their control (such as an impending layoff) or the result of personal actions (such as a personality clash at work or a disagreement with their boss).
2. “Are there any minimums that need to be met in order to even consider this position?”
This job interview question will help you get an idea of the candidate’s salary range. Many times the candidate will respond with “I’m open” or “I’m willing to consider everything before making a decision.” To delve further, respond with something along the lines of: “So if someone says we would like to offer you $5.00 an hour for this position, and you liked the work, you would take the job?”
Narrowing down the price range of the position will help you get an idea of what the candidate is looking for and will help urge them to commit to a salary range. Once you have a general salary range in mind, both you and the candidate can seriously consider an offer.
3. “Tell me a little about a time when you had to solve a problem with a group of people. What role did you play, and what was the outcome?”
This behavioral question is geared toward a candidate’s leadership ability. How well does she respond to authority figures? How well does he work with others? You will gain insight into the thought process of a candidate during problem-solving efforts and a chance to see how they work in group settings.
Finding the right questions to ask in interviews is an iterative process. In general, the right questions are any that will prompt the candidate to talk more about themselves, rather than answering simple yes/no questions. Use this opportunity to expand on things in the candidate’s resume, and allow for a conversational atmosphere where one question can lead to another.
Asking the wrong questions can hinder your understanding of a candidate. Any question that encourages the candidate to respond with information already on their resume without tapping into their personality is a waste of precious time. You already know what’s on the resume; job interviews help you go deeper.
Use these guidelines to help you make the most of your job interviews, and be sure in to include the “must ask” questions every time.
Kara Singh has over seven years of experience in recruiting and four years of experience in sourcing and social media. She received her Bachelor’s of Business Administration from the University of Houston in Texas.