Ask the right questions to make the best hire long after the interview is over.
Six Questions to Hire the Best
‘What’s your greatest weakness?’
If that’s your best question to ask in a job interview, you’re probably not going to hire the best candidate. The interview is your best shot at getting to know your future hire and screening his or her potential for success at your company. But the interview is something candidates prepare for, and their goal is to show the best version of themselves to you.
Coming up with the right list of questions is difficult. You don’t want to trick candidates, but you also don’t want to find out a few months down the road that a good interviewee doesn’t make a good employee. The key is to ask questions that require a candidate to demonstrate how they think and work.
This will give you an idea of how the candidate understands the position. More than that, you’ll get a sense for culture fit, the candidate’s expectations, and if his or her work style is suitable for the role for which they are interviewing.
This should reveal the candidate’s values, analytical ability, initiative, confidence, and drive. A good candidate will have researched your company and be able to speak knowledgeably about it.
By asking both questions, you’re looking for critical thinking, honesty, and self-awareness. Does the candidate take responsibility for his or her own failure? Or try to blame someone else? Are they aware of the difference? If risk taking doesn’t matter to you, try a variation, such as “tell me about a tough decision you made that worked out. Or one where you made the wrong decision.”
You’re looking for what drives and motivates the people you’re interviewing. You should also get a sense for their preferred work style, and what they value about their own work. The candidate will either be talking about a project they worked on as part of a team, or an individual accomplishment. Pay attention to how they speak about either situation. Regardless, they should be using “I language” when answering this question.
This reveals prioritization skills, execution style, and strategic thinking. Are they thinking big picture, or small tasks? It may also help you understand how much enthusiasm candidates have for the role, how familiar they are with the responsibilities of the job for which you are hiring, and what they believe they can bring to the table.
Not only will this give you an idea of the candidate’s long term goals and professional development expectations, but also reveal personal motivators and drive. Not all jobs have the same career path. Assess the candidate’s ability to judge his or her own skills based on whether the skills align with the career goals of that individual. To get the best IT professionals on your team, timely hiring is essential. These questions should help you make the most of the valuable time you spend interviewing because they get at more than if the candidate can do the job, they reveal how they would do it.
Every candidate that came in to interview with us knew who we were and what we were looking for. Having someone who actually listens and doesn't just give you the sales pitch, doesn't just shovel resumes in your direction, that's really important.
Software Development Manager - Korterra
I think one of the things [ESP IT] do well, is, they ask the right questions. When you do that, I think that just guarantees that you're going to be a very successful company.
Sr Software Manager - Cray
The fact that ESP focuses on people first, which I think means their focusing on us as a company and understanding who we are, is what leads to them finding the right people to become Titans.
Founder & CEO - Irish Titan
This role was a difficult one to source candidates for because it was for a very niche market, but we landed a great one and I appreciate ESP’s diligence.
VP of Development
ESP provided great communication and guidance about market expectations.
VP of Development
ESP demonstrated more thoroughness, patience and organization than other firms. They took time to understand our company, culture and challenges, which I believe paid off in the long run.