See below an additional 3 great questions to ask candidates in a job interview:
1. What are your salary expectations?
If a candidate give you a definite figure straight away they are at a disadvantage immediately due to the rules of negotiation. If a candidate counteracts this question with “well, what are you willing to pay”, then you are the one in a negotiating disadvantage if you state an exact figure.
Candidates who emphasise what value they bring to the role and who emphasise their commitment to the job should be held in a more favourable light to those who engage in haggling straight away. Candidates who have conducted research into salary ranges in an industry and who quote these ranges should be held in a more favourable light also.
2. Why should we hire you?
Again an excellent question which gives a candidate a great opportunity to sell their skills,knowledge,experience,achievements and what they can bring to the business.
Be wary of candidates who give a glib answer such as “I’m the best candidate” or try to be funny “obviously, I’m the best”. Focus on candidates who emphasise past measurable achievements and how he/she can bring value to the role. Endorsements from previous employers is also something to look into as a key differentiator.
A potential answer should be “My last boss stated that as a result of my passion for lean production strategies, waste from the production process was reduced by 10% and productivity increased by 15% over a six month period. As a result I was promoted to a managerial position after eight months in the organisation. I am now looking for a new challenge and I believe that I can make an immediate and valuable impact in your organisation where I intend to build my career”
3. What is you greatest failure?
Be wary of candidates who focus on major personality flaws such as “I give up too easy, I dropped out of college and have left three jobs within the last six months”. Whilst you may admire their forthright honesty in the above answer it certainly does not endear any confidence as most interviewers will be thinking of the cost and hassle of having to find a replacement after six months.
Instead focus on candidates who have successfully handled mishaps in the past which actually added to their value as a professional. For example a potential answer could be “In second year in college I became a bit of a social animal and enjoyed myself too much. This had a detrimental effect on my grades and the end result was that I had to sacrifice summer holidays working with my friends in Boston in order to focus on passing my exams. Whilst my friends were enjoying themselves living and working in Boston, I had my head stuck in the books back home in Ireland and missed out on a great summer. Luckily I passed my exams in the autumn and made a firm resolution not to make the same mistake again. I pulled my socks up the following year and ended up getting a 2:1 in my degree. I went on to do a Masters where I ended up getting the second highest result in the class”
The above answer shows how a candidates in his/her youthful exuberance made a major mistake, set about rectifying that mistake, made a resolution that it should never happen again and ended up adding to their overall professional value by getting a valuable master’s degree.
The above three questions should provide you, the interviewer, with valuable insights into a candidates character, highlighting any warning signs and bring to the surface any traits and achievements which could potentially stand them out from the competition.