We talk a lot about questions hiring managers and recruiters should ask, but we never talk about the questions that the job candidates actually want to be asked. If you want to find the best people for your open positions, try some of these questions:
“What makes you angry?” It made me think about how I apply my personal values in a work situation.
“Have you remained close with any former colleagues from past jobs?” It made me reflect on how shallow my work relationships have been.
“What’s the difference between a ’rounding error’ and a cost overrun?” The man who was going to hire me had used the dismissive phrase ’rounding error’ at least twice in his conversations with me, so when his manager asked this, I realized he wanted to know if I would challenge my boss.
“How would your integrate HR throughout our Company?” I was floored by it because this showed how the company I was considering viewed the value of HR. I like questions that press in on people.
“Who would you have saved first if your last company premises caught a fire?” It got me thinking. A lot. It made me think beyond conventional work relationships and pushed me to think about who were my friends at the last workplace. Brilliant question!
“What do you think would be your biggest challenge in this role? How would you struggle most to get up to speed?”
“What makes you think you can do this job?” The job was a pool manager for four pools in Baltimore, every one of which was closed by the health department the previous summer.
“Here are the problems with this job,” and then she listed several serious issues, “do you think you could work with that?” I loved this question because I knew my boss was going to be straight forward and I knew the challenges coming into it. I took that job and stayed there for 9 years, so clearly, being honest didn’t scare me away. I was grateful to not be shocked when I started.
Note that these questions aren’t easy and they aren’t pulled off a list. They aren’t something you can prepare for by Googling. They are often position specific. Your job candidates want to be challenged. A tough interview is more likely to result in a better job.
When you’re interviewing, it’s not like shopping for the best bargain off the shelf’; it’s like a date where you are each getting to know each other. You want to know what makes your candidates tick and how they would act in the job. They want to be in a position that fits them.
Note: This originally ran in 2016. It’s time for an update. What are the best questions you’ve been asked in a job interview? Tell me in the comments.
This post originally appeared at Inc.