The hiring process is a daunting thing, and not just for the jobseeker. As any manager can attest, it takes time and energy to sift through applications, schedule out interviews and feel certain you’ve found the right candidate. It’s a stressful process that will never be absolutely painless, but there are ways to make it better. A strategic approach — asking questions that get to the heart of who a candidate is and how they operate — can streamline and simplify your search. Here are a few helpful tips.
Go off script.
There are certain questions you have to ask during an interview — past experience, salary requirements and so on. But don’t limit yourself to those “need-to-know” topics. Engage your candidate by asking about their family, hobbies and maybe even what they had for breakfast. Ask something silly, such as their ideal superpower. When you move away from formal questions a person has probably prepared for, you get a glimpse at who they actually are, and gain a better understanding of how they might fit within your organization.
Turn the tables.
Once you’ve asked a fair share of your questions, offer your candidate the opportunity to interview you. Doing so not only gives them a better understanding of what your company is all about, but it allows you an idea of what topics are most important to them. If most of their questions center on sick leave and vacation time, for instance, that might raise red flags. On the other hand, if they throw thought-provoking questions out about the way you operate, potential opportunities and other such topics, you might have found your next team member.
Don’t shy away from past employment.
Your candidate might be applying for a new job, but former positions remain relevant. Ask about past responsibilities, what they liked and didn’t like, and ways they made a difference around the office. Jobseekers often feel a sense of guilt in discussing other employers, especially if they happen to be employed while interviewing someplace else. Still, this conversation can tell you quite a bit. Be wary of candidates who openly disparage past employers, or say only negative things. This could spell trouble down the line.
Looking for other ways to ensure your hiring game is at its best? At Athenian, we’re happy to help. Get in touch.