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Six questions that can save you from hiring the wrong candidate

As a staffing agency, we know more than anyone the cost of hiring the wrong candidate. So we discovered some key questions that will help you weed out the inexperienced, the “great interviewers,” and underperformers.  

1. What’s the most exciting project you’ve worked on in the past?

The applicant’s answer to this question will help you determine if they would be likely to enjoy the work in the position available at your company and if the types of tasks they find fulfilling align with it. Making sure an employee feels satisfied in their profession is key to retention and productivity.

2 . Can you tell me about a time when you didn’t see eye to eye with a colleague or boss, and how you handled the situation?

Having healthy and productive conflict resolution skills is something you are going to want your employee to have. This is one of the best questions to assess if the situation they describe was handled appropriately or in a manner that fits your company’s values and workflow. It also will tell you if they possess emotional intelligence.

3 . Do you work best alone or collaborating with a team?

Not all roles require group or team collaboration. However, if it does, this question will help you understand if they are suitable for assignments or positions involving another individual or even groups. An employee who thrives in solitude and long stretches of work without interruption may not perform well in a collaborative environment. 

4. What skills and strengths can you bring to this position?

With job scarcity at a high, you may have candidates applying for jobs they are not a match for. This question will help you find out if they thought critically about their skill sets and whether they will benefit your team and company.

5. Can you describe how you handle tight deadlines?

If your company frequently works under challenging time constraints, you will need to find someone who performs well under pressure while maintaining accuracy and a timely pace. By asking this question, you may get some insight into whether or not they think they can keep up with the pace and handle the stress of tight deadlines and expectations of your company and avoid hiring the wrong candidate.

6. Where do you see yourself in five years?

This question over the years has been more important than I had given credit. Looking back, most of my employees who could not answer this question did not last because they genuinely did not know or were uncertain. But, on the other hand, our employees that had clear direction and lofty career aspirations have always proved to be our best performers and were promoted quickly because of it. This is a must ask question to be sure you are hiring someone who will thrive long term in your company.

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