February 6, 2020

A first interview is basically a meet-and-greet with a potential candidate. You want to get a feel for how well they’d fit into the position with the company. You can learn a lot by asking the right questions.  

Help the Candidate Open Up 

You’ll get the best impression of a candidate if you give them a second to relax and ease into the interview. Almost everyone is nervous at first. Make a little small talk, offer them a glass of water, ask about their weekend and try to establish common ground. Some chatting at the beginning of the interview will help you get to know them, plus helps them relax—so you’ll get a more authentic impression of what they’re really like.  

Six Questions to Include 

During an initial interview, the following six questions will help you uncover important details about a candidate, their work ethic, their intentions and their cultural fit with the company overall: 

  1. So, tell me about yourself. The ideal answer is a brief summary of their work history, why they chose their career path and what they’re passionate about.  
  2. Why do you want to work here? You’ll see if they’ve done any research about the company, which will give you an idea of how seriously they’re taking the interview.  
  3. What is your ideal work environment? A candidate’s answer should match up with how your company’s work environment is. Otherwise, they may not feel comfortable or work to their fullest potential.   
  4. What makes you different from other candidates? In their eyes, what does the candidate see as their unique strengths? This information may or may not be obvious in their resume.  
  5. Why are you leaving your current job? Beware of negativity and on the lookout for signs of motivation, passion and growth.  
  6. Where do you see yourself five years from now? The answer to this question will help you uncover if this candidate is in it for the long-term, or just passing through.  

Avoid Trick Questions 

Asking questions like, “If you were stranded on a beach, what three things would you want with you?” may seem helpful. But really, they’re just going to throw a candidate off and waste valuable interview time that could be better spent asking questions that actually apply to the position.  

Work with Your Recruiter 

Staffing agencies offer a variety of services, including interviews. Your recruiter can provide valuable insight into the best interview questions and techniques or handle the first level of interviews for you. It depends on the level of staffing services you seek.  

Try Inter-Connect Employment Services

We place highly qualified candidates with light industrial and administrative positions, and we’ll work with you to find and place the right hiring choices. To learn more, contact us today!  

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