Provisional Blog

What Kinds of Questions Should a Job Candidate Be Asking You?

September 11th, 2012

You might think that personality tests and behavior-based interview questions are the best tactics for hiring great employees. And they certainly play a part.

But as one of the leading staffing agencies in the Northwest, Provisional can tell you that another component to helping you hire right is to evaluate the kinds of questions a job candidate asks you.

Unfortunately, many candidates either: a) ask a few boilerplate or generic questions just to look like they did their homework, or b) ask a few smart questions without really caring what the answers are, again, just to demonstrate they did their homework.

But the best candidates ask questions that they really want answers to. They know it’s just as important for them to evaluate you and your company, as it is for you to evaluate them.

So what are some questions that top candidates might ask? Here are a few examples:

What are some traits or strengths of your best employees?

Strong candidates know that it takes more than just skills to succeed in a new job…it also takes a fit between employer and employee. And asking about what strengths top employees share gives them a window into whether they would fit in with the organization, as well as what they would have to do to achieve the same success.

What do you like most about working here? Least?

Again, this is another question that enables the employee to determine if they’d fit well within the organization. And considering that most hires fail due to lack of fit, asking these kinds of questions is incredibly wise on the part of the candidate.

What kinds of goals or projects will you expect me to complete in the first few months?

This question indicates that the candidate is trying to dig deeper and evaluate if the position is a match for their skill set. They want to be able to get the job done and meet expectations – and need to find out what those expectations are in order to ensure their success.

The bottom line is that a great candidate will ask thoughtful questions that demonstrate not only a high level of interest in the position, but also in ensuring that the job and the culture are the right fit for them. So don’t just be evaluating a candidate’s answers to your questions…also evaluate the candidate’s questions for you.

Need Help Hiring?

If you do, let us know. As one of the leading staffing agencies in the Northwest, Provisional has the knowledge and experience (more than 18 years of it!) to help you uncover high caliber candidates; screen, interview, test and verify them; and guide you toward making the best hiring decision. Contact Provisional today to learn more.