Have Them Turn The Tables On You

hiring interview

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In many cases, anywhere from 90 to 100% of the hiring interview focuses on asking the applicant questions.

The good interviewers will allow the applicant to ask a few questions as well.

But what if we turned the tables here and insisted the applicant ask a lot of questions.

“Robert, I’ve asked you a number of questions here and I appreciate your answers. Now, I’d like you to ask me three questions. Anything you like.”

Or you could make that five questions you want from the applicant.

I realize it’s a bit of an arbitrary number — three or five or really any other number — but the idea here is to get Robert to ask away. And giving him a specified number of questions should help.

Why are we making this request — or some might say, this demand — on Robert?

Well, what Robert asks could be very revealing.

It could tell us how much homework Robert did on your company. Did he do a superficial study or did he really dig in?

It could tell us how willing Robert is to be candid right up front. If he asks about the contents of your vending machine, that’s not quite the same as asking if you feel your company is fulfilling its purpose in the community.

Robert’s questions might also tell you how long Robert envisions being a part of your company.

One of the key reasons, if not the key reason, for the hiring interview is to gain real insights into your applicant.

How many times have you interviewed someone and felt you had a good grasp on how they were going to work out…and then a short time down the road, this person was no longer with you?

Well, asking your applicant to turn the tables on you could be one good way of gaining these important insights.

Let’s just give the applicant a nice push to ask away.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


What Does A Company Owe Its Employees?

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I’m reading an excellent eBook entitled “From Q&A to Z, the Hiring Manager’s Complete Interviewing Guide.” Inside are a number of excellent hiring tips.

You might ask, why would I promote a competitor’s product here?

Well, it’s a big world, and I imagine my company’s clients and prospective clients can benefit from quality information from more than one source.

Here’s the link to this eBook. When I tried the link just now, it wasn’t working, but I believe that’s a temporary issue. If you’re not able to access the eBook from the link, send me a message here and I’ll forward you the eBook directly.

From this eBook, I noticed an intriguing question you could ask your applicants:

“What does a company owe its employees?”

The answers you get are likely to be all over the spectrum.

Some may say they expect a great deal from the company and you may get a long list of specific items the applicant believes they are owed.

Others may tell you the company simply owes them a proper monetary exchange and that the APPLICANT wants to perform at a high level and demonstrate their value to the company before additional exchange is considered.

Between those two views will be a variety of responses.

And I’m sure your personal view of what your company “owes” your employees will influence how you interpret the responses you get.

All things considered, your applicant’s answers will tell you a great deal about their future expectations with you.

Then of course it comes down to whether you feel you can meet those expectations.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


How Long Do You Plan On Sticking Around?

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That’s an interesting question to ask an applicant and a simple wording would be:

“Sarah, if we hired you, how long do you plan on sticking around?”

Sarah’s answer should deliver an insight into her potential longevity with you.

If her answer doesn’t give you a good sense of commitment, that’s worth knowing ahead of time.

But that also begs the question, being asked more and more these days:

How long should a new employee commit to the company?

One could answer that question philosophically, or one could simply find out directly from the applicant.

And the interesting flip side to the question “how long do you plan on sticking around” is:

“Sarah, under what circumstances would you leave?”

Again, a fairly direct question.

If Sarah’s answer touches on things that were done “to her” at her previous jobs, that’s not the height of responsibility.

But she may also mention not feeling “sufficiently challenged” or she may be candid and project another job offer that she couldn’t turn down.

When you ask these two questions:

How long do you plan on sticking around?

and

Under what circumstances would you leave?

You could cut through some of the potentially canned (or prepared) responses and gain some good insights into your applicant.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


Getting Off to a Good Start

new hires

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I was at Monster’s web site and saw a few questions you could ask applicants on the subject of “getting started.”

What do you see yourself accomplishing in the first 30 days here?

How would you go about quickly establishing your credibility with our team?

If hired, describe your strategy for the first 90 days.

How long would it take for you to make a significant contribution here?

For your “serious” positions, I like these questions. They are asking your applicant to stretch a bit and look into their possible future with your company.

Some applicants have quite a bit visualized as a potential member of your team and they will likely give you solid answers to all of the above.

What if you’re hiring a stock clerk or a waitress, would you still want to ask these questions?

My answer is a simple: “Absolutely!”

Asking every applicant how they believe they can bring value to your company only grants dignity to them, to the available position and to your company.

So there you go. Find out what your bright-eyed prospects would do to get out of the starting gate and you’ll likely gain some welcome insights.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


What Does The Word Accountable Mean To Them?

Who Is Accountable?

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

Accountable. Now that indeed is an interesting word.

I found two good definitions:

1) responsible for the effects of your actions and willing to explain them

2) responsible to someone or for some action; answerable

It almost seems the two words, responsible and accountable, are interchangeable. But not quite.

The main difference between responsibility and accountability is that responsibility can be shared while accountability cannot. Being accountable not only means being responsible for something but also ultimately being answerable for your actions.

So let’s ask your applicant what the word means.

“Frank, what is your definition of the word accountable?”

Now I’m going to give you a heavy dose of my opinion here. If Frank can easily communicate a fairly complete definition, this is a good sign that he demonstrates the quality.

If Frank fumbles around for an answer, then this could be a weak area for him.

The key here is that Frank can easily talk to you about accountability. It’s not foreign to him. He has familiarity with it.

So, instead of asking directly about being accountable, ask them to define the word. This may give you a better clue as to just how accountable they are.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


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