There are eight critical interview questions that may be uncomfortable to ask but will be worthwhile as you make your decision to hire a candidate. These questions generate frank conversations in order to determine if the candidate really is a good fit for the position. In addition, they will alleviate any surprises of a candidate declining your job offer.
Here are the tough questions:
#1: Why do you want to leave your current job?
This question can help pinpoint why the candidate feels unfulfilled in their current role. If your company has similar processes, you know the person would not feel fulfilled your open position. Alternatively, this could be an opportunity to “sell” your company to the candidate.
#2: Take this role to the side, what would a perfect role look like?
By asking this question, you can get a feel for what the candidate is passionate about and then assess how that plays into the role you’re interviewing for.
#3: Have you spoken to your boss about the fact you’re unhappy?
No employer an address concerns if they don’t even know those concerns exist! This question helps determine how good of a communicator the candidate is. Will they try to work through concerns, or simply look elsewhere when the going gets tough?
#4: Have you looked for other opportunities internally?
This question is a good way to assess if they are serious about leaving their current company. If they are applying internally, this could be a tactic for leverage on higher salary with their current employer.
#5: Are you in the process of applying elsewhere? How many other interviews do you have?
If the person has many other interviews lined up, it could be a sign that they are in high demand. This means you may want to be more proactive in your approach to moving the interview process through each stage. That is if the candidate is a good fit for the position and organization.
#6: (If they are:) Which role is your preference and why?
This is a great follow-up question to assess how interested the candidate is in your position. If it ranks lower, what’s the point of pursuing them?
#7: Who else in your life will influence your decision?
Candidates will most likely speak to their spouses and/or family members before making a big move in their career. If the candidate indicates they have not spoken with family members, it could be a sign they lack serious interest in the role. Probe further to understand why they have not talked to them.
#8: Do you have any reservations about accepting this role if offered?
Now, this is an opportunity to get some great feedback on any lingering concerns the candidate might have. If they answer ‘yes’, this is an opportunity to address and overcome any hesitations. Then you can avoid any surprise declines on your job offers by addressing any concerns up front.