It seems to me that interviewing skills are all over the table. Sometimes I hear that candidates “don’t interview well,” and I’m sure that’s true. However, I’ve also been through some interviews where it could be fairly said that the INTERVIEWER didn’t interview well either! Since interviews are such a critical component of the hiring process, everyone could stand to improve their interviewing skills – candidates, clients, and recruiters alike. Below are some interview questions for recruiters to ask that will help assess talent more accurately.
From the LinkedIn Talent Blog:
- Can you share an experience where a project dramatically shifted directions at the last minute? What did you do? Let’s face it, “stuff” happens, and sometimes projects and plans don’t materialize as expected. It’s helpful to understand how candidates react to these situations.
- Tell me about a time you missed a deadline. What happened? With this question, you might look for responses that indicate the candidate accepts ownership, communicated the missed deadline to higher-ups in an effective manner, took steps to mitigate damage, and/or changed a process to avoid a future recurrence.
Here’s an interview question from Insperity that could be very eye-opening:
- For managerial candidates, ask if they have had to implement a policy change, structural change, or other significant change that was not very popular. If yes, what was the change, and how did they manage it? You are looking for signs of leadership, and also evidence of the person’s adaptability to change. It’s rare to be in an environment that never changes, so it’s good to see how people handle disruption.
- On the flip side, ask if the candidate has ever been impacted by an unexpected policy change, structural change, or other significant change. With this question, you may be trying to assess if the candidate is a good team player, or exhibits flexibility under pressure or difficult circumstances.
Lou Adler has two interview questions he uses with great success. The questions lend themselves to other questions and actual performance-related dialogue. They are:
- Tell me about your most significant accomplishment. If you have specific performance objectives that the candidate will need to meet, it should be fairly simply to ask the candidate for an example of something comparable. The candidate’s answer will allow you to ask further questions that help you determine if that candidate can actually accomplish the things that need to be done in the new role.
- How would you solve this problem? This question uncovers problem-solving skills, strategy, creativity, planning, and more. It should lead to a back-and-forth conversation that helps you understand how the candidate plans, prioritizes tasks, allocates resources, and other details that indicate success.
Do you have a favorite interview question for recruiters? What’s the WORST question you’ve encountered in an interview? Please share it in the comments!