The season of gratitude is upon us. As a hiring professional, you’re thankful for finding outstanding talent via your digital interview process. But it’s not fair for you to be the only one benefiting from the hiring relationship. You also need to create a fantastic candidate experience so job seekers will be glad they applied to your organization.
When your digital interview gives candidates a chance to shine, they thank you. This means addressing some of the biggest issues holding job seekers back. Be it nerves, stale questions, or overly rehearsed responses, there are certain traps that make great candidates seem subpar. You have the power to remove these obstacles.
Both you and candidates will be grateful when you use the right questions. You’ll get a better look at who each individual is and job seekers can be confident they were given a fair chance to show what they have to offer.
Here are four digital interview queries candidates will thank you for asking:
“Tell us what we can do for you”
The hiring process allows candidates to show they can be great employees. But it’s also your chance to let job seekers know you care about your team. Asking about a candidate’s professional aspirations lets them know you want to develop their skills and keep them around for the long haul.
“This question keeps the conversation progressing and gives candidates a chance to talk about their professional career path. It shows that the company will invest in them and help them grow as a professional,” said Valerie Streif, senior content manager at Pramp, a mock interview platform for coders.
Asking this type of question during the digital interview gets everyone on the same page about the future early in the hiring process. You know what candidates will need from your organization to succeed. At the same time, job seekers know you want to provide them with support and development opportunities.
“What’s something outside of work you’re proud of?”
Often, during a digital interview, candidates feel confined to only discuss their professional identity. But this prevents them from showing everything that makes them special. Plus, it gives you a limited view of who they are. Asking about their passions outside of work allows them to open up.
For example, Matt Dodgson, a director of Market Recruitment, was once assessing a woman whose nerves were getting the best of her. However, after asking about her proudest non-professional accomplishment, things changed. She responded with how she’d organized a flash dance mob of almost 100 people. She shared all the logistical steps she went through — from gaining permits to teaching the choreography — with a big smile on her face.
“I’ve found that this question allows candidates to prove that they are more than just the paper resume they’ve presented,” Dodgson said. “Resumes are helpful in revealing how a candidate may be technically qualified, but they do not address how the candidate will fit within the team and company culture. By learning about something that made the candidate proud or passionate, I get a sense of whether or not this person’s personality will help him successfully fill the position.”
“What three people — alive or dead — would you want to go to a party with?”
Many hiring professionals like to include “tell us about yourself” in their list of digital interview queries. On the surface, this seems like a simple prompt to get candidates to start sharing, but defining who a person is can be a very broad topic. Many job seekers struggle to know where to begin.
Much more narrow questions help candidates focus. Instead of watering down their identity in a few words, they can provide a nuanced view about one aspect of their personality. Over the years, Rich Franklin, the founder and president of KBC Staffing has discovered both he and candidates love this question.
“People appreciate this question because it has a human element to it,” he said. “It clearly demonstrates that the employer wants to understand the person on a deeper level but not a level that is overly intrusive. It gives insight into their personality that may be difficult for some people to convey in an interview setting. I’ve had many people who, up to that point in the interview, had come across as quite boring, likely because of nerves. They really allowed their personality shine through when answering this question.”
“Tell me about a manager you had who you loved.”
It can be overwhelming to only talk about yourself during a digital interview. After a while, it begins to feel that it’s not just your responses, but also who you are that’s being judged. When you give candidates a break from this, they appreciate it.
“I think people appreciate this question because it allows interviewees to discuss what makes a great manager from their perspective,” said Mikaila Turman, the director of people at the background check company GoodHire. “It’s not an intimidating question. Candidates don’t have to do any prior research, and there’s no right or wrong answer. This type of question allows them to answer freely, which helps set them at ease during the interview.”
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