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 12 – Uncovering an Interviewee’s Knowledge/Interest in the Company or Role
Question: Do you have any questions for me?
Follow ups: What questions do you have specifically about the role you’re interviewing for? What thoughts do you have on the company and/or job you would be performing?
In an earlier installment of the “Best Interview Questions to Ask Job Candidates” series, we examined the importance of establishing a candidate’s motivation for applying for the job and overall attraction to the open role. By asking why they applied for the position and what excites them about the job, the interviewer is able to determine if the candidate truly wants to work with the company and whether their involvement with the company will help build morale, energy, and productivity.
For the final question in this series, we attempt to unveil just how much they are interested by determining their knowledge and interest in the company, earnestness toward the role, and overall desire to learn more—all with a simple question. “Any questions for us?”
By asking the interviewee if they have questions for you, you allow the interview to become a more open-ended conversation. And in turn, see more into who the candidate is. Are they the type that researches the company and asks specific questions about its history? Are they the type of person who is focused on professional development and asks about potential career advancement? Or are they more focused on cultural fit, asking questions about community involvement?
Ending an interview with this open-ended question may be the most important question you ask a candidate. It can reveal a lot about their character and gumption.
Ask follow-up questions to help facilitate the type of questions you’d like the candidate to ask about. For instance, if you want to know their interest in the company, ask if they have any questions about you, your role, or the company as a whole.
Depending on how the interview has gone so far, the candidate may not have any questions at the end of the conversation. This isn’t necessarily a bad omen, it may just mean that any questions the interviewee had prepared were answered during the interview. Ask them what questions they may have had that were already answered to determine if they came prepared and truly are interested.
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!