When speaking with potential candidates for open positions there are standard information gathering questions that always need to be asked: How many years of experience do you have working with XYZ technology? Do you live within a commutable distance to the job site? What are your compensation expectations? Etc. etc…
However, to gain additional insights into a candidate’s hire-ability, these are the questions that every recruiter should also be asking:
Why do you want this role? This may seem like a fairly simple and straight forward question but in the rush to get candidates submitted it’s oftentimes overlooked. The importance of it though cannot be overstated. The answer to this question helps tell the recruiter if the candidate understands what the role involves and how well their skill set matches for it. The best candidates will be able to identify the key aspects of the role and describe in detail why they are a good match.
What were your relationships like with previous colleagues and managers? This question can help delve more into the candidate’s personality. Are they an introvert or extrovert? Are they someone who seeks out and builds relationships with coworkers or are they more of a heads-down-so-I-can-get-my-work-done type. Neither is right or wrong, but when hiring for clients – who have varying types of corporate cultures – this question helps elaborate on if your candidate will be a good culture fit.
Not to mention, this question can also help to uncover some red flags that won’t emerge by asking simple objective questions.
What kind of work environment do you thrive in? Again, this is the type of question that can help tell if the candidate will be a good culture fit for the client. If you’re recruiting for an opportunity that’s team-based and requires a lot of collaboration but your candidate prefers to work alone than you know they’re probably not the best fit for that role. Conversely, if they thrive in a team environment and if the role they’re applying for simply needs a heads down coder than your candidate’s needs won’t be fulfilled and they’ll be more likely to seek work elsewhere.
Why did you leave your last role? Here’s a question that can tell a recruiter a lot about a candidate’s work performance and expectations. Recruiting consultants means you’ll likely see a lot of different positions on their resumes. Why and how they left these positions though can offer up a lot of information and often lead to more probing questions. Did the consultant’s last role end because the engagement hit its term limits or did it end early because they weren’t sufficiently able to handle the responsibilities? Even better, you may learn that their engagements were extended because the client saw their value and didn’t want to lose them.
Where are you in your job search? This question does a couple of things. First, it tells you how long the candidate has been on the market and has been seeking new opportunities. It gives the recruiter good insight into what types of other positions they’re interviewing for and why they were either not a fit or – if they turned an offer down – what exactly they need in order to accept a position. Secondly, and maybe most importantly, it gives the recruiter an idea of how much time this candidate may be on the market. That way, if the recruiter knows they’re working with a star, they can stress on the client that they’ll need to act quickly if they want to retain this candidate’s talents.
So these are the questions that every recruiter should be asking to gain additional insight into a candidate’s hire-ability. What other questions can be asked to gain even more insight?
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