Asking Questions That Reveal Job Candidates' Qualifications
Maximizing the value of the interview process means making good use of the limited time you have with candidates. These are the people you've deemed worthy of consideration due to their resumes and cover letters, and the facts you can learn during their interviews will likely reveal which applicants have the soft skills and personal talents to truly excel. Whether you're a full-time recruiter or a departmental leader drafted into interviewing relevant candidates, mastering very specific candidate assessment skills is a great idea.
Great interview skills can pay off in potentially big ways for your company. The time and money wasted when an organization hires an unqualified or unsuitable employee may present a serious setback for your business. Your ability to weed out the brightest stars in a new group of applicants is therefore a money-saver.
Preparing your questions
Before you can ask the right questions, you must master the art of going into an interview prepared to succeed. Bytestart explained that interviewers need to have consistent lists
of prompts that you present to each candidate. If individuals have radically different experiences speaking to you, it will be harder for you to determine which applicant has the skills to succeed in the open role.
Rather than forcing yourself to remember the questions, you can and should bring them in written form, then take notes about candidate responses. Bytestart added that there's always the chance that the notes will be seen by outside eyes, so you should keep them professional and respectful. That means it's a bad idea to be too harsh or casual in your impressions of each applicant.
The crux of candidate experiences
What kind of questions belong on your short list? The Motley Fool contributor Maurie Backman gave a few relevant examples. These are queries designed to learn maximum valuable information
in minimal time, constructed with time limits in mind and applying to roles of all kinds. For example, it pays to know whether applicants see themselves as loners or team players. The "right answer" for such a question is highly dependent on the demands of the specific open job.
You can also learn a lot by asking what a candidate's personal objectives are. Backman noted that when there is a major gap between employee expectations and the duties of a specific job, that friction may lead to unhappiness and an early departure. You must make sure employees you bring in won't become disillusioned and leave, as that would put your company back at square one.
Backman also recommended prompting interviewees to tell you what makes them different from the rest of the candidates. You've assembled a whole group of applicants who possess the basic skills needed to complete a particular job. Figuring out the advantages each brings to the table will guide your choice.
Making educated choices
When you improve your interview process, you boost your chances of getting valuable intelligence that goes beyond the raw data presented by resumes. Expending the extra effort to learn from your applicants can lead to happy, long-term employees and the rewards that go with it.