Many hiring managers struggle to develop interview questions that drive a face-to-face interview toward a conclusive hire decision.
Often, this struggle results in a poor interview experience for both the candidate and the employer.
As a search and placement firm, we often we hear candidates say after an interview debrief:
“I couldn’t get a word in, the interviewer did all the talking, and never asked a question!”
Some rules of thumb most human resources advisors will share are:
1. Keep questions brief and simple.
2. Ask one question at a time.
3. Do less talking and more listening.
Unfortunately, this guidance is limited, and does not deeply validate experience, evaluate skill level, and understand behavior characteristics that ultimately demonstrates the fit of a candidate for a particular job and company culture.
We recommend following these three high-level guidelines (above), of course – they are self evident.
For effective candidate evaluation, we believe structuring interviewing questions around the following five criteria will allow a deeper understanding of the ability of the candidate to make a contribution, fit the job, and likelihood of adding long-term value to your organization.
Structuring questions in these five areas of exploration will help reveal what you, as the hiring manager, need to identify and learn about a candidate.
- Ability to understand, think and comprehend. These questions reveal how a candidate 1) Selects relevant information to make a decision and 2) Structures thoughts and organizes details. Examples:
- Briefly outline ___________.
- Tell in your own words ___________.
- What is the main concept of ___________?
- What is the difference between __________ and ___________?
- Analyzing information. These questions reveal how a candidate 1) breaks larger problems down into smaller opportunities to improve, 2) understanding the relationship between cause and effect. Examples:
- What parts assemble to make up a _____________?
- Organize _________ around ____________.
- Graph or diagram the relationship of _________________.
- Compare and contrast __________ with __________.
- Present a case for ____________.
- Applying knowledge, concepts and principles. These questions reveal how a candidate 1) frames information and 2) communicates a convincing direction. Examples:
- How is ___________ aligned with ____________?
- What is another example of _____________?
- Give me an example of ___________ and why it is related?
- What is the significance of ___________?
- What other risks/symptoms/challenges/results could occur when ___________?
- Innovating and creating value. These questions reveal how a candidate 1) thinks of experiments, 2) iterates probable scenarios, and 3) develops entirely new ideas. Examples:
- What if you combined __________ and ___________ ?
- What creative ideas would create value?
- How would you design ___________ ?
- How do you test ____________ to eliminate ideas that don’t provide value?
- how would you solve ____________?
- Focus on commercial value
- Decision making and driving progress. These questions reveal how a candidate 1) develops unique perspectives, 2) challenges the status quo, and 3) moves progress forward, even in failure. Examples:
- How would you come to a decision on ___________?
- Of ___________ and ___________ which is the most important for ________?
- What happens when ____________ fails?
- How do you prioritize ____________ with ____________?
- Explain how you go about agreeing/disagreeing with ______________?
- How do you choose decision-making criteria for _____________?
Barton Professional Placement Group puts a significant emphasis on evaluating candidates, and ensuring they meet client expectations before resumes are submitted. After our discovery meeting with our clients, we use the information we learn to develop the screening and interview questions using this framework. While some recruiters just throw resume’s over the wall to the hiring company to evaluate, we provide a higher level of service. The value of a great recruiter is how well they qualify candidates and how much of their client’s time they save.
If you are ready to work with a recruiter that can provide the level of service you expect, Barton Professional Placement Group is ready to meet with you. Call us today.