6 Outside-the-Box Questions to Ask Professional Job Candidates

Professional job candidates have typically put in years of education, training, and experience to reach their current positions.  They’re focused, dedicated, and they have both a bank of knowledge and the skills to put it to use.

In other words, they aren’t your ordinary candidates.  And asking them ordinary candidate questions might not reveal what you most want to know.

Here are six “out-of-the-box” interview questions to ask your professional candidates:

  1. What made you start looking for a new job? For candidates who are currently employed, this question allows you to skip any preprogrammed response about how great your company is, and focus on what has dissatisfied the candidate in the recent past. Also, listen for how the candidate addresses possible solutions, focuses on the issues (or blames others), or puts a positive spin on negative facts.
  2. What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you recently? This question can give you insight into each candidate’s unique character. What the candidate finds funny may fit perfectly with your current company’s culture – or it may unwittingly reveal a character weakness.
  3. What book do you recommend that everyone read? No matter how the candidate answers this question, you’ll gain insight into their values, as well as their ability to summarize and “sell” a particular item or idea. If they’re not much of a reader, make a recommendation or two of your own and see how well they take suggestions.
  4. Tell me about a time you failed. This is the “what’s your greatest weakness” question, with one major advantage: It asks the candidate to tell you about a time they were already weak, instead of asking them to talk about their own perception of their weaknesses (which may be skewed). Listen for how they solved the problem and what they learned from it.
  5. If you were offered this job, what concerns would you have about taking it? No workplace is perfect – so be wary of the candidate who lacks a single concern. It also encourages the person to be honest about any potential problems, so you can start out on the right foot.
  6. Now that you’ve seen our work space, what would you change? This question lets you “listen in” on the employee’s snap judgment of your workplace environment and culture. It also helps you see how willing they are to say what they’re thinking, even when it’s critical. And you might just find they give advice that’s worth taking.

At Marquee Staffing, our experienced recruiters can help you find better candidates, so you can choose the person who fits best into your company culture – all without breaking the bank. Contact us today to learn more about our recruiting services in San Diego and beyond.

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