Talent Acquisition

The 5 Questions Every Candidate Hopes You'll Ask


Interviewing is usually stressful for the candidate, but what about the hiring manager? Interviewing candidates to determine whether or not they are a fit for your organization can be quite a burden. To make it easy, I’ve gathered the top questions those candidates hope you’ll ask, and why you ought to!

Tell Me About Yourself

This is the ice breaker, get them comfortable talking about themselves. Plus it is always fun the stuff that you hear and learn about people. One of my favorite experiences is that someone explained that outside of work, he was working to get his permit to own a large feline. Which led to an amazing story on how he volunteers at a reserve for animals that were given up by owners because the cats got too big, or the animals were retired from the circus.

Why Would You be Good at This?

Give them a chance to get right to it! Why do they think they are qualified? What in their history makes them that really unique candidate? A good candidate will be prepared to answer this question 52 different ways. It’s also a good gauge of how much they really want the job.

What are your Strengths and Weaknesses?

This used to be the tough questions, and now it’s one of the most common interview questions out there. It’s a no-brainer to prepare for this one, and if they really prepared, they will know to make their weaknesses their strengths on overdrive.

Where Do You Want to be in 5 Years?

Okay, some candidates love and want this question – and others don’t. But for those who have plans, this is a slow pitch across home plate. They will share with you their education and how it lines up with their work goals, their aspirations and why they want to do it. It gives you a chance to see how motivated they are.

Do You Have any Questions for Me?

Candidates are always waiting to ask their questions, plus this is also great signal to them that their part of being grilled is over. So when you ask this – notice how they respond to a break in the stressful part of the interview. How does their behavior change when they are asking the questions?

Bottom line – I encourage you to ask questions that you know the candidate wants to answer. The more they talk, the more you learn about them, and get a sense of their values, reactions, and how they work, saving you both time weeding through the nonsense. Which at the end of the day – is the goal of the interview!

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