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7 Parameters to Gauge Job Keenness in an Interview + Sample Questions!

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7 Parameters to Gauge Job Keenness in an Interview + Sample Questions!

We can’t deny that we do get clouded at times while hiring a candidate who later turns out to be a mistake. Yes, the harsh truth! Then we all wonder about the loopholes that led to this wrong hire. Hiring new candidates for companies is no longer just about assessing the resumé and ensuring the candidates fit the bill.  Every business needs productive employees, and every business owner wants to make sure they are hiring the top talent in their field. And there isn’t a simple formula for this. These days, it’s also easy to prepare the right interview answers as so much information is available. So how do you know if the candidate is telling the truth or simply talking up their achievements with ideal answers during the interview?

It is a well-known fact that a bad hire can cost a company as much as 5 times the salary of the hire. In some cases, even after such a candidate leaves the company, the toxicity in the work environment continues to create issues. Here are 7 key points to help you gauge the job keenness of candidates. This will ensure the right kind of hire who potentially stays with you long-term.

What are your first impressions?

The first 30 seconds of an interview are very critical.  How a potential candidate comes across will give you an indication of how they will be viewed by clients too. Beyond just seeing if they’re well dressed, a key and subtle thing to assess is whether the candidate has researched the company culture and dressed accordingly. For instance, if your company has a smart casuals policy for work, and the candidate has understood this and dressed accordingly, it’s a big plus. It shows they are very observant and sensitive of their environment.

In a virtual interview, simple things such as camera adjustments, room setting or efforts taken for a smooth interview will indicate if the candidate does what it takes to do a good job.

Another non-negotiable point is being on time. Often, work depends on deliverables and time is always a make or break.

How well has the candidate researched the company?

Drawing from the first point, a good way to test the candidate’s keenness is to see how well they prepared for the interview. Some of the questions that will reveal this are:

-“What do you think the role you’ve applied for is about?”
-“Who do we compete with?”
-“What do you like or dislike about our website?”

If the candidate gives a generic answer that is not specific to your business it’s a clear red flag that they have not bothered to research.

Are your candidates checking if they are the right fit?

While one side of the coin is asking questions to see if the candidate is the right fit, the other side is, are candidates evaluating this job for career development? A good job fit is where a candidate is assessed based on their hard and soft skills, strengths, experience, and needs relative to the job in question. It looks at the requirements of a particular job, environment, and values and weighs whether or not a candidate is a good match. Now a good way to assess this would be to ask simple questions such as

– “Can you reiterate your understanding about the main goals and KPIs for the role?
– “Why do you think you’ll perform this job well?”
– “What prompted you to apply for this role?

How candidates assess the job as far as career path goes, is to see if they are asking the right relevant questions.

Are they a good fit for the team?

An important thing to understand is also how a candidate delegates work. Ideally, you’re looking for a person to say that they would delegate based on aptitude and experience after examining the big picture. Another key thing is to see how the candidate handles difficult or non-cooperative or annoying behaviours. Asking questions like,

– “What do you find annoying about your team members?”
– “When did you not enjoy working in a team?”
– “What is more important – team or boss?”

With these questions, you’ll hear some unique answers. If the candidate’s answer is brief or restricted to specific behaviours, ask them to elaborate on how they would deal with the situation.

It might also be a good idea to have a potential candidate spend a day within the department under some supervision and later ask both the candidate and team members about their experience of each other independently.

Does the candidate display leadership skills?

Now and again teams need pepping up. Find out how a candidate will motivate their team. Successful candidates will understand that motivation varies from person to person and situation to situation. A good candidate will speak of what they will do rather than speak of what HR or the organisation should be doing.

– A direct question like, “explain a key leadership experience in your career?” Will give you direct insight into how much they value getting to know their team members.
– Ask them what “being a bad manager” means to them? This will show you immediately whether they know what not to do or how not to be.

Ask off-topic questions.

Asking the candidate what kind of work environment they are used to will help you understand whether they are well-suited to manage your team or not. Ask them a question like “What would your ideal workplace look like?”. A question like this will give insight into how the candidate will fit into your working environment. Do they prefer a coworking space? Or a private cabin? Can they keep their team members on task with lots of activity going on around them? Ask more interesting questions like

– “What would you do in the off time or on weekends?”.
– “What’s your most favourite part of the job?”. See how enthusiastic they are when talking about things they should love.
– Ask “what are your hobbies and if they make time to pursue them?”
– An example of another kind of open-ended question that will give you great insights in the interview is – how do you define success?

How honed are their soft skills?

Most businesses are full of high-pressure situations that can bring out the best (and worst) in your team members. Those same high-pressure situations can also reduce the likelihood that a new manager will stay long enough to learn how to function in such a fast-paced environment. Ask them more descriptive questions. Notice how they answer. Some interesting questions assess this is to ask

– “When was it hard for you to do the job and how did you resolve the problem?”.
– If it’s not informative, you need to ask further, more direct questions. “Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a high-pressure situation. How did you handle it?”
– If it is for a managerial role, understand “How have you terminated employees in the past, or how did you tell a team member they are under-performing?”. Using professional language, giving the accurate picture and making notes of the experience, and keeping HR in the loop, are the answers you’re looking for.

Often the most interesting information will come when you least expect it.

– Any open-ended question like, “anything else you’d like to ask me?”
– Or, “anything else about yourself you’d especially like to mention?”… these kinds of questions will give you excellent footnotes on the candidate.

We put a lot of time and effort into the process for good reason — hiring the wrong person for an important role can be a major inconvenience not to mention a potentially huge waste of time, money, and other resources. You might be eager to fill a specific role within your business, but don’t rush it. Trying to hire someone as quickly as possible increases the likelihood that you’ll wind up with someone who ultimately isn’t a great fit. Trust your instincts, be clear and take your time!

At YellowSpark we design and implement unique employee engagement programmes to drive emotional employee engagement. To know more write to us at contact@yellowspark.in.

Author Profile: Aparna Joshi Khandwala is a passionate HR professional. She co-founded Yellow Spark to work with like-minded people who believe in the power of leadership, which is the only business differentiator in today’s time.