12 Interview Questions to Ensure Candidate Quality
Asking unique interview questions in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic is crucial to hiring the best candidates for a remote workforce. With the modern hiring process, technology already accumulates so much info about candidates — from school records and past job history to basic background checks and social media screenings. Asking questions beyond the standard set helps see if a person is a true fit for your company, not just if they can adequately handle the tasks.
Beyond the typical interview questions, pandemic-related interview questions can be used to show adaptability, willingness to learn, and self-motivation.
Top Interview Questions to Ensure Candidate Quality
Candidate backgrounds, position descriptions, and salary guidelines should always be the first point on the agenda during an interview so everyone is on the same page. From that background, more personalized questions can be crafted for each interviewee. However, there are some out-of-the-box questions to always have on the list of potential asks.
What are the best questions to get all the information you need about potential quality candidates that’s not on their résumés?
Best Interview Questions to Attract Candidates
- What are the conditions that bring your best work to the table? This question gives a clear insight into the candidate’s fit within the company. The level of necessary oversight, collaboration, and motivation vary for each position, and this question is great to differentiate a small business leader from a corporate VP.
- How did the pandemic affect your career goals? This twist on the traditional “What are you looking for in your next role?” question shows both if the candidate is a good fit for the position and how a life-changing pandemic shifted their career and life goals. Many Americans are now focusing their professional energy on careers that pursue their passions, like environmental values or company culture.
- How do you deliver bad news to a client? For client-facing roles like sales or customer service positions, this question helps understand how they handle tough conversations. The bad news is bound to happen, and this can show a candidate’s values like honesty and compassion.
- How do you manage a good work-life balance? Workaholics are prone to burnout and don’t make good long-term employees. This also is a good question for those who have come from overbearing employers and are looking to grow at a well-managed company. Any answers about hobbies, family commitments, or favorite weekend activities are likely capable of managing their time efficiently.
- How did you adapt to working remotely? Adapting to changes quickly is important for a host of jobs. Showing how potential candidates adapted in March 2020 to work-from-home arrangements could tell you how they will adapt in other curveball situations later.
- How long do you work on a problem before asking for help? Everyone needs help at work — but asking for help can be hard. Quality job candidates know when to ask for help and when to problem solve on their own. The only wrong answer to this question is “never”.
- What’s one good thing that came out of the pandemic? Tons of trauma and sadness came with the pandemic, but also a life-changing shift for American workers and families. Look for candidates who answer this with positivity, like more time to spend with family or a realization of new life goals.
- How would you handle a situation where you nearly missed a deadline? Sometimes deadlines get lost in the shuffle and weeks turn into days. This is a great chance for candidates to demonstrate their strategy to prioritize and organize the project on a tight turnaround.
- What do you think you’ll learn working for this company? Even the best-performing employees have room for improvement — and they know it, too. No one likes talking about their weaknesses, but this question gets the same information with a different wording approach.
- How did you cope with stress during the pandemic? Stress comes and goes, no matter the situation. An employee who can manage stress and be productive is critical, and many of us have faced no less stressful situations than Covid-19.
- Is it better to have a job done perfectly but late, or merely good but on time? Everyone has different opinions on perfection. A detail-oriented employee is crucial for a lot of roles, but missing a deadline is almost always unacceptable. This is an easy question in theory, but still open-ended enough to continue a solid conversation flow.
- What’s something you’d be ecstatic about doing every day for the rest of your career? Being happy at work is key to being a long-term employee. If you’re looking for someone who will be around for the long haul, the answer to this question should closely align with your company’s mission and the job specifications. This is also a great way to show if growth within the company is possibly in their future, too.
Assess Which Questions Yield Successful Interviews
After an interview, take a minute to evaluate yourself and the questions you asked. Did you get the information you wanted? Did the conversation have too many lulls and not enough open-ended questions?
Sometimes, a bad interview can be just a bad candidate fit, but it can also be an opportunity to reevaluate and develop your interview criteria and guidelines with a new eye.
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