The 4 Things Every Job Interview Should Uncover


Whether in a clinical, office or industrial setting, hiring a new employee requires getting to know dozens of candidates in a short amount of time. Judging a person with the limited information from a resume and interview is a tricky task. To help narrow your scope, consider the following four things you should learn about every candidate.

  1. How do they handle failure?
  2. Are they passionate about growing and learning?
  3. Do they fit your company culture?
  4. How will they fit into company the long term?

How Does the Candidate Handle Failure?

How a person handles failure is a great indicator of their overall work ethic and attitude. In an interview, try asking for a specific instance of failure the candidate has faced. The way they talk about their failures will tell you a lot about the person. For instance, do they put the blame on others, or take accountability for their actions? Can they express how they have learned or grown from their failure?

Is the Candidate Passionate About Growing and Learning?

Candidates who love to learn, whether it’s inside or outside of work, are going to thrive in their job. This is true regardless of what job you are looking to fill. Depending on the industry, you may want to ask about career-specific learning opportunities (“Do you read any management blogs; which are your favorites?”), or ask more general questions that highlight the candidate’s attitude toward learning (“Tell me about a skill you taught yourself; what was it and how did you go about learning it?”).

Does the Candidate Fit Your Company Culture?

Brett Comeaux, a member of the Forbes Human Resource Panel, writes, “The fact is that many employees or contractors who either quit or get terminated leave because of a lack of cultural fit, not because of a lack of technical ability or job skills.” Making sure the person you hire fits in with your company culture will help with employee retention. Ask about the candidate’s hobbies and interests (always making sure to avoid any questions that are too personal or illegal). Learning what the candidate cares about outside of work can help you determine if they will work well within the office.

How Will the Candidate Work Long Term?

Job seekers, especially younger ones, may not have a five-year plan, but as an employment manager, you should be thinking long term when hiring new employees. A candidate who asks questions about the job, especially if they are asking about organizational goals, shows they are thinking long term as well. Alternatively, you could ask your candidate, “What can we do to keep you happy in this position?” That lets you know if you are able to meet their expectations, which will likely keep them around longer.

These four questions will give you a good idea whether to move a candidate on to the next level of interviews, or move on to someone new. Learn more about how to find the best candidate for your position by using the Oregon employment staffing services at Staffing Partners.

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