Interviewing: 5 Questions Your Candidates Should Be Asking You

By Adam Robinson,
September 14, 2012

If you walk into an interview expecting to be the only one asking questions, it’s time for a reality check! Interviewing is a two-way street and one of the most common misconceptions candidates and interviewers have is that the hiring manager will be the only one talking. 

During every good interview there should be a point where you ask the candidate if they have any questions for you. This is their chance to make a good impression and demonstrate their engagement levels by asking you questions about the position, the company, and the business. Eddie Payne, the division manager of professional staffing for recruiting firm FGP International says, “Employers say they are interested in candidates who ask quality questions and make intelligent conversation based on what they know about the organization.” As a bonus, you will be able to gage the candidate’s body language, confidence levels, and speech as they relax and ask you questions.

Hireology’s Product Development Director, Margot Nash, made it real easy and laid out the 5 questions you should be hearing during interviews.

1. What do you like most about working at Company X?

These 2 questions show that the candidate is generally interested in the position and is curious about the company values. By giving candid answers you could spark a discussion that could disclose more information about the candidate that you wouldn’t have known before.

2. What are your expectations for your new hire in the first year?

Wouldn’t it be nice if every new hire knew what how you wanted them to perform within the first year? This is a great question to get because it shows how much they care about performance and gives you the chance to lay out a clear picture of their responsibilities.

3. What qualities are you looking for in your new hire?

When you answer this question, be honest. This gives the candidate a chance to prepare for future interviews where they can discuss the qualities they can contribute to the position and why. Think your candidate might be bluffing? Read our blog post on lying candidates and honest hiring. 

4. What makes this position unique?

Have a great candidate that is most likely being recruited by other companies? Here’s your chance to reel them in. If the candidate inquires about the uniqueness of the position, you can discuss your fabulous health benefits, the optimistic company culture, or the travel locations. Depending on the candidate and the position, there is plenty of ways to spark their interest in your job over competitors.

5. I read on your website that……  can you tell me more about that?

Knowing that your candidate has been on the website is like Christmas morning for hiring managers! This means they aren’t wasting your time and are generally interested in the position and the business. Nash states, “I  love when candidates have done their research, and understand what we’re all about, so this question lets me know that, not only have they visited our site, but they’ve spent some time thinking about it.”

Hiring isn’t easy, but you definitely don’t have to do all the work! Interviewing a candidate who is engaged during the process and is asking questions will make your job a lot simpler. 

Does your candidate have these four essential elements of success?

About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

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