How do you know when you're talking to a job applicant you should hire?
Start by asking the right interview questions.
Good questions are unexpected and thus difficult to script answers for - they’re not just the common interview questions every candidate knows to prepare for - like “tell me about yourself,” “walk me through your resume,” or "why do your want to leave your current company?"
To help hiring managers and human resources determine whether the person sitting across the table will become a top employee, we’re sharing seven insightful job interview questions to work into your interview process.
1. Describe your process for [fill in the blank].
In this question, [fill in the blank] is the job, or a major part of the job you're hiring for. For example, if you’re hiring an email marketer you may ask, “Describe your process for building an email list,” or, “Describe your process for building sender reputation for a new domain.”
This question shows you how your candidate tackles problems that are bound to come up in their day-to-day work. You can also learn more about your applicant's experience when they explain how they approach the keystone tasks of the position.
When it comes to determining whether a candidate is a good fit for the role, Google recruiting leader, Lisa Metrinko, is a fan of this type of interview question. She explains:
“Questions that provoke some sort of thought process… are likely the most effective. They work well because they can give you a sense of how the candidate thinks through a problem.”
Though there are no wrong answers, this question helps you identify any red flags in regards to the candidate's experience. Their understanding of the job might be too rudimentary, for instance. That said, don't fully discount applicants if you think they'll be up to par with a bit of training.
What to look for in an answer
A good answer might go over a typical workday and show some general knowledge of the job, and that's just fine.
A great answer will give you more than that. You might hear something about a candidate's workflow that's especially efficient or clever. Perhaps they know of a faster way to accomplish tasks or check their work, or they tell you about a tool they use that you've never heard of.
You can also spot signs that a new hire will integrate well into your existing team. Perhaps they already use a workflow that's very similar to one the team prefers. If you're lucky, you might even hear ways that this applicant could help the team innovate and improve. When this happens you know you've got a great new hire on your hands.
If I gave you [fill in the blank with an assignment], what would you do first? (ie: If I asked you to build an email list, what would you do first?)
What's the most important part of getting your job done?
What is your ideal workflow for [fill in the blank]? (ie: What is your favorite workflow for building email sender reputation?)