I have learned over the years here at Red Branch Media that there is an art to the interview process. It is an intricate melange of interpersonal communication, company culture, informative questions (and answers), and a touch of the hiring manager’s personality.
Amidst these ingredients for the ideal interview, there are some things you may have missed. You need to utilize certain professional personality traits when talking with potential new hires. Did you remember to ask these seven job-fit interview questions?
Why do you want to work here?
You already know the candidate’s skills and experience (it is on their resume), so why would you waste their time by asking information you should already know? Candidates were drawn to the company or the position for a reason. Was it the culture? Money? Perks? Were they inspired by your mission or did they hear what a great place it was to work? Those are the ones to pay attention to.
What are your expectations?
At this point in the recruitment process, you’ve already made your expectations clear. In fact, your job advertisement should have done at least part of the work thus far. Ask your candidates job-fit interview questions including what they expect from the company and what their hopes are in the job.
I view interviews as a great time to be candid about what it’s like to work here. Their expectations have to align with reality.
Who inspires you? Why?
As a business owner, it is fascinating to learn who serves as inspiration for candidates. It shows a lot about the talent pool I have created and provides insight into the worlds of each individual candidate. Learning about these role models allows you to glean information about their behavioral patterns before they start working for you.
What do you do best?
Personally, I do not like asking the similar question, “What’s your superpower?” You’ve probably heard about the interview questions from the corporate powerhouses Google and Apple — the off-the-wall queries that can leave candidates baffled and potentially turned off.
Our version of this question is “What is your dream job? What would you do all day (professionally) if you could?”
What motivates you to come to work every day?
Is it more than money that brings them to the office every day? Because that paycheck is not what typically keeps employees motivated. In fact, it is not even in the top three employee motivators for the team members who consistently go the extra mile: camaraderie, the intrinsic desire to do a good job, and feeling encouraged and recognized are.
In a busy company, self-motivation and the need for constant learning opportunities are must-haves. If the motivation is ‘paying off my student loans’, take a pass.
How do others make you better?
In reality, this question is really an insight into a candidate’s self-awareness. It asks them what their weaknesses are without placing a negative spin on it. Placing them in a hypothetical situation around other hypothetical employees shows their true colors.
Ask 10 members of your staff about their job performance: as many as 90 per cent will believe they are in the top 10 percent of performers. The best candidates (and employees) are aware of their weaknesses and know how to augment them with the skills of those they work with to make a better team. If a candidate tells you about how they make others better instead, it can tell you certain things about their ego and attention to detail.
What frustrates you?
There is bound to be something that irritates your candidates. Understanding what grinds their gears will help the hiring manager really decide if they will fit both the culture of the office and the personality needed by the position. If ever-changing deadlines and constantly changing mandates freak them out, maybe they should not work at your startup. If monotony and boredom are what make them crazy, steer them away from your invoicing department.
There is more to hiring than functional fit. Interviews are supposed to ascertain what personality and character traits make them a well-rounded fit for the position. Until something exists expressly to match cultural fit, these questions are my best indicators of who will and who won’t succeed here at Red Branch.
Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer and community builder in the HR and Recruiting industry. She leads Red Branch Media, an agency offering marketing strategy and content development. A consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques, Hogan has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies in both the B2B and B2C sectors, and been a prolific contributor of thought leadership in the global recruitment and talent space.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organisation comprising the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship programme that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.