6 Screening questions to always ask
1) What are you looking for in a job?
This question might seem like a simple opener, but in reality it gives you a chance to hear what they actually want. Pay attention to things they say they want that you cannot or will not provide as an organization or in this specific role. For example, when someone speaks wistfully about their creative process, chances are the systems admin job is not going to work for longer than it takes them to find a new gig. Conversely, if they say something you CAN provide, you can tip off the hiring manager to mention it during the live interview, a crucial arrow in the talent acquisition quiver.
2) How would you apply your skills to this job?
This takes the ever popular “Tell me what you’d do in your first 90 days” question and combines it with the “Why are you the right person for this position?” The answer gives you an idea of how they can apply their unique skillset (they already saw the job description right?) to the job you have available and whether or not they can think on their feet. Listen for specific numbers or examples of similar tasks performed before. If you understand what the position needs and how current candidates can fit into the position, it will be easier to fill in a timely manner. Considering 54% of employers have difficulties finding qualified candidates to fill their open positions, understanding exactly what the team needs can diminish time spent searching for the ideal candidate.
3) What is your biggest weakness and how do you plan to overcome it?
This question serves two purposes. The first if to find the answer to the question so you can adequately manage this person (or someone on your team can) and the second is to show that in your organization any weakness can be overcome and there is value assigned to those who try to tackle personal goals.
4) Tell me about your experience at ________ and what you’d do differently here.
This gives you a chance to analyze their answers around past employment or to tell you why they are choosing to leave. The most recent job is also the most likely to be similar to the one you’re offering, so is therefore, the most applicable. But the last piece of the question is the most important. By allowing them to take accountability to their previous work, you set the stage for a healthy work environment if and when you select them for the next round interview.
If you stick with screening questions that relate to a candidate’s qualifications, how their mistakes and successes molded them into the professional they are today, and why they were attracted to your organization in the first place it will be easier to make it through the interview without a hitch. Don’t forget one thing: six is the magic number, despite the average of ten screening questions many experts provide.