If you are interviewing job candidates, you want to determine how they will perform and fit in with your organization. You want to learn about their character and motivation. When it comes to identifying these traits, some questions are better than others at pinpointing the relevant information. Here are five questions you should ask to get a more complete view of job candidates.
1. What is your greatest accomplishment?
This question should help to give you an idea of what the person considers to be necessary, what he or she values, and how driven they are to succeed. It opens a window into how the person thinks.
Suppose the person tells you, for example, that they’re most proud of the fact that they received satisfactory performance reviews every year. In that case, this is most likely an indication that the person is not someone who pushes goes above and beyond what is required.
2. What is the most noteworthy challenge you have encountered and overcome?
This will tell you a lot about how the person approaches problems and goes about solving them and the person’s resilience and perseverance.
3. What are your key strengths?
This will help you to gain insight into the skills, abilities, and knowledge the person has. It will also help to give you an idea of how the person can best help your organization, where their talents will be of most use.
Many hiring managers focus on asking about a candidate’s weaknesses. But these days, this question really doesn’t yield much helpful information. Knowing the question is coming, most candidates have rehearsed their answers. They know they need to name a weakness but one that is not very significant. And so, the answers really don’t give a lot of insight into the person.
4. Talk about a time when you made a big mistake.
This tells you how a person handles pressure and adversity. It also tells you about his or her maturity and judgment. A top performer will talk about the mistake he or she made and his analysis of the situation – why they made a mistake, what changes they made so that the same error won’t happen again, and what efforts were made to rectify their error.
5. What are your hobbies?
At first glance, this question might not seem that relevant. But knowing what a person does for a hobby provides good insight into personality. If a person likes to do extreme sports, for example, it is a clear sign that they’re adventurous and like to take risks.
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