Best Interview Questions to Ask Job Candidates – Loyalty

This is part seven of a 12-part series.

Creating a successful and productive team starts with finding great employees who fit your organizational culture. And while you may receive hundreds of job applications and interested parties, narrowing down the talent pool to hire the right candidate for the job goes beyond what hiring managers can surmise by reading cover letters and applicants’ resumes, especially when studies show 85% of applicants lie on their resumes. This is where the art of the interview comes into play.

According to a study, although a typical interview averages 40 minutes, 33% of hiring managers decide whether they want to hire a job candidate within the first 90 seconds of an interview. To ensure you’re completely thorough and make the right decision, it’s important to ask the right questions to fully understand and evaluate a candidate. During this 12-part series, we will explore the best interview questions to ask job candidates and give a few “pro tips” along the way.

Part Seven – Uncovering an Interviewee’s Reason for Leaving Current Employer

Question: Why did you quit or plan to quit your most recent position?

Follow ups: What are you hoping to gain here that you didn’t have at your last position? Were there specific relationships that affected your decision?

There can be several reasons why a job seeker leaves an employer. From unfulfilling work to negative relationships with co-workers to poor leadership, uncovering what either caused the applicant to leave their last position or why they want to jump ship can be a great indicator of what type of worker they would be for your organization.

These questions help the interviewer understand how loyal the candidate is, as well as what they value and what they will sacrifice to stand by their beliefs. For instance, if they left because of poor leadership or a toxic work environment, they understand what type of organization they want to work for and will go out to find it. However, if their reasons have negative connotations, seeing how they speak about their former employer/co-workers will indicate their level of professionalism and graciousness.

While it may look bad on a resume to job hop, there is nothing wrong with a candidate who knows when it’s time to move on from a position and look for greener pastures. The important things are whether or not they were able to leave on good terms, if they have unresolved animosity toward their former employer, and how they plan on righting the ship with the new opportunity.

Seek answers that open up deeper reasons for their move to better understand what type of employee they’ll be for your organization.


Not everyone is going to have deeper reasons that showcase their level of loyalty or potential issues. Sometimes, professionals have to move on due to hitting creative ceilings, needing a higher paying job to provide for their family, or just that they wanted to do something different. Regardless of their reasons, allow the candidate to be as open and honest as they want to be.

What is your favorite question to ask a job candidate? How do you decide who the right candidate is? Let us know in the comments section below!

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