3 Types of Interview Questions for Today’s Recruiting Landscape
Before you come up with interview questions for today’s recruiting landscape, you must understand the lay of the land. No doubt you’ve noticed that recruiting and hiring these days comes with a unique set of challenges; for example, the recession that started in 2008 led to a big pool of eminently qualified workers who have job gaps on their resumes. Before, such gaps would have been huge red flags. Today, not so much, especially when you ask the right questions. In any case, the three types of interview questions for today’s recruiting landscape have to do with work history gaps, soft skills and social media.
Type 1: Work History Gaps
In prior eras, work history gaps indicated that a candidate was not capable of holding down a steady job. This is no longer true; even the most qualified candidates these days may have gaps every few years through no fault of their own. Your main goal with asking about work gaps is to determine the culprit of these gaps: economic woes or candidate woes. To get started, use a prompt along the lines of, ïI noticed that it has been nearly a year since your position at ABC Company ended. What have you been doing in the meantimeï
After the candidate answers and you’ve gone through follow-up questions, ask for a reference. For instance, use a question like, ïWho do you recommend I call at ABC Company to get another perspective on the work you did thereï
Candidates who are confident and who have nothing to hide may be more likely to jut their chin forward when discussing work history gap questions. On the other hand, candidates who nervously touch jewelry or their clothes may not be hiding anything, but they’re feeling some sort of stress.
When you do call references to find out more, you can ask many of the same questions you posed to the candidate. For instance, ïWhat was the most successful task the candidate performedï and ïWhat were the demands of the jobï If you are unable to get much information from your contact, ask for another reference who can more fully answer your queries.
Type 2: Soft Skills
In previous eras, many companies had strict hierarchies and clearly defined hard skills for each job. These days, soft skills are just as important, if not more so, than hard skills. After all, you can learn hard skills, while the case is not exactly the same for soft skills. As is true for many situations, prior performance is your best bet when assessing a candidate’s soft skills.
Interview questions for today’s recruiting landscape should include something similar to this, ïI noticed on your resume that you were involved with Z project at ABC Company. Tell me a little more about it.ï After the answer, follow up with questions like, ïWhat went as planned Did anything bad happen What went particularly well What was the most satisfying aspect What was the most disappointing or frustrating aspect How did the team make decisionsï As candidates answer, listen to whether they take responsibility themselves for mishaps or if they are liable to put the blame on others.
To get insight into candidates’ initiative, ask something like, ïHow was that project approved Who did you have to get approval from, and how did you do itï The answer may indicate whether candidates are more likely to start a project without permission, getting it only once work is underway.
You should have an interview evaluation sheet to fill out during these interviews. Make sure the sheets have provisions for these four areas: a candidate’s awareness of how her actions impact colleagues, her self-control, her ability to handle stress and her social intelligence.
Type 3: Social Media
In general, you should avoid social media questions. Unfortunately, interview questions for today’s recruiting landscape are peppered with queries on social media, so having a separate section on this issue is critical. Think about it; say you go on Facebook, and notice that a candidate has children or is of a political bent opposite yours. Would none of that color your interview and your interview questions Don’t open anyone up to potential legal trouble.
In a nutshell: do not go on social media to investigate candidates. No Facebook, no Twitter. And definitely do not ask candidates questions about social media. Two exceptions: if the position involves social media skills or if your company already has sound, legal guidelines in place for social media recruiting.
However, it is okay to check professional social media sites such as LinkedIn. And your company certainly should recruit through mediums such as Twitter and Facebook. As you explore interview questions for today’s recruiting landscape and make all-star hires, turn to the resources here at Mighty Recruiter for assistance.