Someone clever and well known once said “There’s a reason you have two ears and one mouth. You should be listening twice as much as you’re talking.”
If you want to master the art of interviewing, you need to know when to talk and when to listen.
In direct hire recruiting, a lot depends on “candidate control.” Can you influence your candidate and do you understand their motivations? Successful recruiters have mastered the art of discerning their candidates’ “hot points” and use that information to position the opportunity in a way that will appeal to them.
When small businesses are trying to attract high potential people, they need to know good interview questions to ask and use those answers to position their job in a way that will make the candidate say wholeheartedly, unequivocally “Yes!”
Some of my favorite interview questions to ask:
You may be surprised by the simplicity of these interview questions to ask, but you will learn a tremendous amount about the candidate by listening to how they answer these seemingly simple questions. The way your applicant answers these questions will also help you position your company and opportunity in the best possible light. So, be sure to take notes – you'll be glad you did when it comes time to write the offer letter!
What are you looking for in the next step of your career?
This question is deceptively simple. It’s a great interview question because people almost always give a highly fluid answer. But the components of that answer give you the language and answers you need to position your opportunity. Or the answer tells you (very quickly) that this candidate isn’t the right one. I like to use this question when I’m pretty sure a candidate is overqualified and I want them to realize this isn’t the job they want.
Why did you leave XYZ?
It might be a basic interviewing technique, but you can learn a lot about a person and their internal motivations by walking through their career history. You’ll find that some only talk about the company and the associated drama. Others will be irritated that you’re making them talk about something they did in 1985. Others will display a negative attitude about 75% of their past jobs. Each response tells me something about the candidate that goes beyond a canned interview answer and gives me insight into their motivations.
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