Starry-Eyed about a Candidate? 5 Questions to Ask before Extending the Offer

November 17, 2014 at 10:37 AM by Kathleen de Lara

questions to ask a candidateThe hunt for the right person for your open opportunity can sometimes be a long, drawn out trek. It’s uncommon to feel jaded after a few solid months of sourcing and interviewing.

Coming across someone who’s a good fit for the role and company equates to striking gold, and you’re up all night Sunday, drafting an email for a job offer to send first thing Monday morning. You’ve finally found the perfect candidate and now your biggest concern is finding a way to get him or her in the office, pronto.

Before you settle on what could be a decision made out of excitement, huddle with the rest of the hiring team to evaluate a candidate’s fit for the role. Try these questions to start.

1. Are you hiring for manpower or management?

Depending on the role you’re sourcing to fill, be sure your hiring decisions err on the side of need, not want. If you’re hiring for a management role, remember it’s not enough for a candidate to be able to take on tasks and projects of anyone their junior – this employee should be capable of fulfilling higher level goals and to take leadership and build out strategies to grow the company.

2. What else besides skills makes this person qualified for the role?

In other words, does this candidate’s fit for the job extend further than looking good on paper? Someone who’s experiences and skills qualify them for the job may work well for what your company is looking for in the short run, but to have someone join the team long-term, they should be a good “culture fit,” although be sure to keep in mind you’re measuring these intangibles with a less-than-subjective eye. Plug: Rob covers this thoroughly in these blog posts:

3. Is the candidate a good interviewer or are their talents proven?

It’s likely the questions you’re asking candidates are, for the most part, fairly standard for the position they’re interviewing for, and a seasoned interviewing pro has a collection of answers for any situation, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They know what hiring managers are looking for and put in time to study up on your company. Vet their interviewing chops and self-affirmations. Back up candidates interviews with their online profiles and portfolios, do background checks on projects they worked on, contact former employees who may have collaborated with them on those projects, and get in touch with references from their previous companies.

4. Does this role fit in with where the candidate wants to be?

As with the first question, understanding how this role helps a candidate reach their professional goals can gauge if the position would be a better fit for the short or long run. Does accepting this job offer delay a candidate’s career plans? Does the position allow for relevant growth toward where he or she wants to be in the next few years? Ask a candidate during the interviewing process about how they hope to progress within and beyond the company to learn how they hope to mold the role over time.

5. What does the rest of the team think?

Don’t forget to link up with other recruiters and hiring managers after they’ve completed their interviews to find out if your perceptions of a candidate are aligned. Did the candidate put on different “faces” for different interviews or did the interviews offer genuine insight to a candidate’s professional and personal self? Find out what stood out about a candidate, positives and negatives (if applicable), to see if there were any red flags or noteworthy interactions you may have missed during your interview.

Want to learn more about how you can train your team to streamline the recruiting and hiring process? Check out our on-demand webinar with Greenhouse, “How to Set Up Candidates for Success!

greenhouse entelo webinar