Are you asking job candidates the right questions?

Hiring the right people is critical to the success of any business; unfortunately, the success rate is essentially a coin toss. According to a Forbes study, 46% of new hires fail within the first 18 months. However, it behooves us to get it right the first time — hiring the wrong person leads to wasted time, money, and resources, leaving you right back where you started. But that’s easier said than done, since some people are actually better qualified to handle an interview than the job they are interviewing for. The most effective approach to screening candidates is getting them to reveal who they really are; gleaning information about them you won’t find on their resume.

To help you determine if someone is the right person to fill your job opening, try posing these questions to applicants to get them to reveal more about themselves:

What is your greatest weakness? No one is perfect. Every candidate will have flaws, whether or not they are willing to admit them. Look for honesty, their interest in personal improvement, and a plan to turn this weakness into a strength. Be wary of candidates who can’t think of flaws in their game, or aren’t willing to share them.

What brings you here today? This open-ended question can provide great insight into an applicant’s motivations, current employment situation, and whether or not they truly believe they are the right person for the job.

Where would you like to be professionally five years from now? The best candidates will answer quickly and decisively, revealing their drive, motivation, and long-term thinking. All three are good indicators of success.

Why should we hire you? Let the applicant do your work for you. Look for someone who can effectively explain why their combination of skills, experience, and intangibles sets them apart from others.

Do you have any questions for me? “No” means the candidate hasn’t prepared for the interview, isn’t particularly interested in the position or your company, and doesn’t think quickly on their feet.

Weeding through stacks of resumes and sitting through endless interviews won’t guarantee your company hires the right person for the job. Improve your chances by asking applicants questions that make your job easier

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