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Five Interview Questions We Should Ask

by Colleen P Moyne (Colmo) (follow)
I'm a freelance writer living in the beautiful river town of Mannum in SA, dreaming of the day I can retire from the 9-5 to write full time.
Business Basics (34)      Managing Staff (15)      HR (9)     

Job Application Form
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As an employer, hiring new staff can be a real gamble. We don’t have much of an opportunity to get to know the person who could eventually become a regular and integral part of our team. The interview process is generally quite formal and restricted to a specific set of questions. We tend to focus mostly on the person’s work skills and prior work history. The candidate has researched and rehearsed in preparation for the questions to come. They craft their answers around what we as employers want to hear.

But what if we were to throw in a few unexpected questions? What kind of response could we expect?

Here are five tricky questions all employers should consider asking:

1. If we were to ask your previous co-workers what you are like to work with, what would they say?

This one would pose a dilemma to a candidate. If they tell you that they got along well with all of their previous co-workers they run the risk of sounding insincere. Yet they may be reluctant to tell you otherwise in case it makes a negative impression.

Job Application Form
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2. If you thought your manager had made a serious error of judgement what would you do?

Another tricky one. Would they hold their tongue and not question their superior? Would they raise the issue directly with the manager, or discuss it among co-workers? Would they report it to a higher authority? Hmm…

3. In which order of priority would you place the following things?
- Job satisfaction
- Family
- Money
- Health
- Career Advancement

This one is a challenge because most of us want a healthy, happy worker who knows how to maintain a good work/life balance, but some applicants might place the job or the money first, thinking that it’s what we want to hear.

Signing Employment Contract
Image courtesy of ambro / freedigitalphotos.net

4. If you weren't in this particular line of work, what would you be doing?

The way a candidate responds to this may tell you where their heart really lies. Is this really the job for them? Is there something else they would rather be doing and will it affect their dedication to the job?

5. If you were the manager of this company, what direction would you take in the future?

The candidate can’t possibly know what’s in your head as far as your vision for the company’s future direction. Their answer to this question could give you a clear impression of their level of ambition – and what they really think of where your company is right now.

Whatever questions we ask, we have to rely on a combination of the candidate’s sincerity and our own judgement. No-one can know how well a person will perform or how easily they will fit with the team. Providing that we ask the best questions we can, all we can do is work on a process of elimination and trust our instincts.

#Business Basics
#Managing Staff
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