3 Great Candidate Questions

Most likely, every hiring manager has experienced the blank stare of a candidate who doesn’t know how to respond to this question: “So, do you have any questions for me?” Often, you probably are asked questions related to the hiring process, upward movement in the company, or possibly you’ve had a candidate with no questions at all. However, if you believe the interview is as much a time for a candidate to interview a company as it is for the company to interview the candidate, you’d like to be fielding questions that show the candidate is seriously considering whether or not the job is a good fit for them.

Kathy Rapp over at Fistfuloftalent.com recently made a list of the questions she believed only awesome candidates would bring to an interview. She highlights that good candidate questions should get to the heart of the company culture and move an interviewer to step outside of standard interview mode in order to be genuine and transparent about the position. Based on her comments, as well as some from Jeff Haden over at Inc.com, here are some ideas about questions a stellar candidate might ask:

Any question that puts your commitment to the test.

Rapp’s killer candidate question is, “What do you tell your friends about why you love working here?” But this can also be simply translated as, “Why did you choose to take a job at this company?” This shows that a candidate is interested in what makes a position with the company a worthwhile investment for them and why it is a preferred place to work. They’re looking to be convinced, especially if they’re leaving another employer to come to you.

Questions that connect the candidate’s success with the company’s success.

“Where do you see the company in 12 months and what is my role in helping the company accomplish that?” “How do you see this position contributing to the success of the organization?” As Haden at Inc.com explains, “A great candidate doesn’t just want to know what you think; they want to know what you plan to do–and how they will fit into those plans.”

The obligatory question on growth such as, “What opportunities does the company have for professional development?”

Though this is probably a question that you hear from the majority of candidates, it is a valid one, and it shows motivation, gumption, and forethought. It most likely means that a candidate has a plan for their career path and they’re looking to find out if your company could fit into it. Such tenacity could really be a benefit for the growth of your team and the company.

In short, a candidate’s questions to the interviewer can be highly telling about what kind of employee they might be and can give the interviewer an inside look into their personality.

What candidate questions have you fielded which signaled that you were talking to someone who would benefit the company? Let us know in the comments below.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Marco Bellucci