You’re getting to the end of an interview with a promising candidate, and you start to relax — the hard part is over. Now, you just need to finish up, by answering some questions from the candidate.
But it’s not as easy as it sounds. In the interview, you are the representative for the company. It’s your job to accurately portray the position to the candidate, and convince them to come on board. Just as job seekers need to prepare for the interview, you also need to prepare yourself to answer common questions asked.
Here are some of the most frequently asked candidate interview questions, and how recruiters can answer them effectively:
1. Can you describe an average day to me?
This might be easier to answer if you are actually the department supervisor, than if you are in Human Resources and more removed from the day-to-day activities an employee would encounter. We often fall back on the job description, but what the applicant is trying to do is imagine how they would fit into your structure.
Imagine yourself a homebuyer and you’re trying to picture your family living in the new house. Is the dining room large enough for family dinners? Where will the children play? The job applicant is trying to visualize what their life will be like in these new surroundings. For promising candidates, a short tour can go a long way to giving them a feel for what they can expect and how they will fit in.
Jodi Berkshire, Assistant Director of Career Services, The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale
2. What kind of challenges should I expect to face if offered this position?
If a candidate asks you this question, this isn’t a time to hold back and sugar-coat. Remember that they’re sitting across from you because they want this position, so give it to them straight. Tell them exactly what kind of difficulties they might face and even why the previous person to hold the position had to be replaced (keeping it confidential, of course).
If they still want the position, after hearing the most difficult aspects of it, you know the candidate is serious. The best candidates will even offer suggestions on how to most effectively tackle these challenges right on the spot. These are the candidates we usually have our eyes on for the eventual hire.
Brandon Baker, Hiring Manager, Loveletter Cakeshop
3. What are the company’s three biggest values, and how are they exemplified throughout the company?
Hiring professionals can prepare for an interview by doing some research on their candidates, that goes beyond fact checking or a review of LinkedIn or another social media profile. Because the hiring process is a financial investment from job posting to job offer and beyond, to attract the best candidate, a hiring manager must be able to find and relate to the values of that candidate.
Ultimately, an interview is a conversation to find a match between the candidate’s personality and the company personality. Finding individuals with clear personal values and matching them to a company’s values could be the biggest determining factor to that new employee’s commitment to the job, beyond qualifications. They are better prepared to make choices on principle, and that always affects the bottom line of a company.
Michele Jennae, Executive Career Coach and Owner, Perpetual Career Management
4. What does success look like for an effective employee in this position?
The key to this question is that an interviewee is looking for two things: what you, as the employer, are really looking for in terms of the job itself and what it requires, and to determine what your work environment is like and if they will be a good fit.
John Turner, CEO/Founder, UsersThink
What candidate interview questions are you always prepared to answer? Let us know in the comments below!