Hiring the wrong person is costly. Not only does it cost you time and money but it also is mentally draining for you and your staff.
To make sure that you hire the right person the first time around, you should create a list of non-negotiable traits that all potential must exhibit. But that’s only part of the process when hiring a good fit for your company.
Another area that will help you when hiring a new employee is focusing on the types of questions the job candidate asks of you. This gives you insight into how the person thinks, what they’re looking for in an employer, and what kind of experiences they’ve had in the past.
Promising Employees Care About Your Answers
“Great candidates ask questions they want answered because they’re evaluating you, your company–and whether they really want to work for you,” Jeff Haden, columnist for Inc. and author of 30+ books, said in a recent article.
In other words, promising job candidates are seeing if you meet their standards. They will ask these questions not because they want to signal to you that they are smart, but because they actually want to know the answers.
For example, if someone asks what type of personality thrives at your company, then they want to know if they’ll fit in. The sooner they find out, the better – for you and them.
Questions That Promising Employees Ask
Here are a few questions that promising candidates might ask in a job interview:
- How many employees have been here more than five years?
- What are some things employees do to make themselves more efficient? Do they listen to music? Is that even allowed?
- How will we measure my success after the first six months?
- How often will my work be reviewed formally?
- How often will I meet with my manager for feedback?
- Is there a certain type of personality that thrives here?
- What made someone exceptional in this position?
- Why did the person who had the job before leave?
Here are a few from Jeff Haden:
- What do you expect me to accomplish in the first 60 to 90 days?
- What are the common attributes of your top performers?
- How do you plan to deal with [a competitor’s new product/service, a change in customer habits, etc.]?
What These Questions Mean
These questions indicate that the job candidate:
- Is analyzing employee loyalty and how well the company treats its employees (i.e. does the company work employees ragged for two years and then find new ones?) into his or her decision
- Wants to hit the ground running and make a positive impact on the company
- Wants to know what it takes to be great in the position, not just satisfactory
- Is determining if he/she is capable of fitting in with the staff
- Is finding out if he/she is a good fit for the corporate culture
- Isn’t “settling” if he or she takes a position within your company
- Cares about the how the company’s leaders think and what they are planning to do about external forces
Again,that ask you tough questions care about your answers. They don’t want to make the mistake of joining a company that isn’t right for them. Their time is as valuable to them as yours is to you.
The more intelligent questions a job candidate asks, the better – especially if they’re taking notes when you answer. They’re doing their homework on you just as you are doing on them.
Job interviewing is more than finding a smart person with the skillset you’re looking for; it’s about finding someone that aligns with your company values and whose personality will mesh with other employees.
Managers need to look at the traditional job interview as a two-way conversation: You both are being interviewed. And make sure you give honest and truthful answers. There is nothing worse than hiring a person who has expectations that are not in line with the reality of the job.
One more tip: If you are interviewing a person and he/she is not asking these kinds of questions (or worse yet, no questions at all), it is best to avoid hiring them. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that folks who are not asking questions already know about your company. If they are not asking you tough questions, then they are not really interested in long-term success with you and are simply looking for a job.
What other questions do you think indicate a job candidate is a promising employee?