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The Best Interview Question


The hiring process can be daunting, especially in today’s economy – there are more people vying for jobs, and many have similar and great qualifications. What do you do to find the best match for the job?


Outside of the traditional interview process, many HR deparatments are turning to social media to learn more about a candidate and see who’s the best fit for the position. This has been a fantastic way to learn more about a person, in their own environment so to speak.


More traditionally, there is a great way to enhance the traditional interview experience to see a potential employee from a different perspective. A recent article on Ragan’s site shared the benefits of asking “situational” questions during an interview – a simple “What would you do if….” question that a potential employee cannot really prepare for. Their response can give you better insight than the more traditional interview questions.


From the article, there are things you can watch for when the candidate answers these situational questions to give you a better understanding of who they are, how they think, and what experience they bring to the table:


Look for these elements:

• A realistic “frame.” Does the candidate think through the answer, or just give the first solution that comes to mind? A thoughtful candidate might start out by saying, “Well, you could handle that in a couple of ways,” list them, and then commit to one. It’s a sign he or she understands the scope and complexity of the situation.
• A sense of sequence. Does the candidate take you through the solution step by step or jump around haphazardly? Listen for a clear series of points, steps, or procedures. You’ll get a clue to whether he or she has solved a similar problem in the past, and has a decent sense of organizational issues.
• An awareness of limits. Does the candidate oversimplify the problem or overstate the certainty of his or her solution? You expect that candidates will make the best case they can for their solution, but do they have the honesty or insight to identify the unpredictable outcomes and loose ends that might derail their plan? Listen for the candidate who can explain what he or she would do, but who also acknowledges that something else might change his or her plans.


You want to make sure you get the best person for the job, so using a variety of techniques and having patience through the process should bring the right candidate to your business!


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