The job interview is a crucial stage in the hiring process, where both the employer and the candidate can learn about whether the role is a good fit for them. Unfortunately, many employers use this time to focus on the wrong things, and miss some crucial information. Here’s what you really need to know. 

Skip the Resume

Unfortunately, many employers craft job interview questions designed to verify a candidate’s credentials, asking them to elaborate or verify the skills and experience reflected in their CV. However, a few simple phone calls are usually sufficient to verify the accuracy of a resume or CV, and such questions aren’t a good use of time during an interview. If you suspect a candidate of faking their resume, you shouldn’t be talking with them in the first place. Instead, here are the more critical factors to understand about a candidate, and the questions that will lead to those insights. 

How Does the Candidate Solve Problems?
There is no right way or wrong way to solve problems. Some people make fast decisions, some wait for instruction. Some make pro/con lists, and some roll the dice. However, the way that a person makes decisions can be incredibly important within a specific job description, and within a specific company culture. Perhaps your company values taking the time to build consensus, or needs a leader who will accept personal risk. Knowing how a candidate solves problems helps determine how well they will work within your organization. 

  • Interview questions to determine problem-solving style:
    • Describe a time when you had a seemingly insurmountable work-related problem
    • How do you react when you encounter situations where you can’t accomplish your goals?
    • What steps do you take when you have to make an important decision?

How Does the Candidate Receive Feedback?

No employee is perfect, and everyone needs periodic feedback from supervisors, team-mates, and even direct reports. However, some people react very negatively to criticism, which can reduce the effectiveness of feedback in modifying habits and behaviors. Furthermore, very few people will admit in a job interview that they have a problem accepting feedback and criticism, so these types of interview questions need to be creative and intuitive. 

  • Interview questions to determine a candidate’s reaction to criticism:
    • Describe a time when you were faced with a mistake you had made at work
    • Tell me about a time when you didn’t meet your manager’s expectations at work
    • How do you react when a coworker points out your mistake?

How will the Candidate Work with their Supervisor?

It’s often said that people don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses. Finding a good match for a role can also mean finding a good match for your existing leaders, managers, and supervisors. Take some time to understand the leadership style of the person this candidate will be reporting to, so that you can assess whether they will be a good fit. 

  • Interview questions to determine whether a candidate will work well with their supervisor:
    • Tell me about the best/worst boss you’ve had
    • Describe a time when you had a disagreement with your supervisor
    • What do you expect from a supervisor?
    • What are the qualities that make a good leader?

What Motivates the Candidate?

Finding out what motivates a candidate is arguably the most important thing to learn during the interview process. An employee who is strongly motivated by the goals and vision of your company is an employee who is likely to make good decisions independently when faced with difficult problems and choices. Motivation also plays an important role in the long-term success and happiness of an employee, so it’s an important factor to consider in hiring. 

  • Job interview questions to help determine a candidate’s motivations:
    • What are your long-term personal and professional goals?
    • If you were to receive a lifetime achievement award, what category would you win?
    • Describe a situation where you went above-and-beyond at work, and why you did it
    • What would a “really good day” at work look like for you?
    • Which of your work experiences have made you the happiest?

The job interview is a time when employers can assess the candidate as a person, understanding how they work, how they think, and what they want. This information is critical for learning whether the candidate is a good fit for the role, and also in helping them be happy and successful at work. At grapefrute, we take the time to look deeper, learn more, and ask the big questions, so we can make the best matches. Contact us to find the right candidates, right away.