I read and essentially disagreed with a post over at Recruiter.com about “7 Questions Great Candidates Ask“, so figured I better pony up with some of my favorite questions. It wasn’t that ALL 7 sucked, but they were predictable, like “Why did the previous job holder leave?” And, “job holder”? Really??! Who says “job holder”?
I did like #7 – “How do your employees wind down?”, but the suggested response blew. Candidates don’t want to hear about your commitment to work-life balance, because guess what – they won’t (and shouldn’t) believe you. I’ve said before there’s no such thing as work-life “balance” as balance implies equality. There can be work-life trade-offs. Some weeks you kill yourself on a project. The trade-off being when you need to get to your kid’s basketball game at 4pm you’re court-side by 3:45pm and not checking email.
Here are my 3 and why only freakin’ AWESOME candidates ask these questions:
#1. Why should I leave a job I love to come over here? This question says, I’m an extremely passive candidate and you’re going to have to really convince me to even continue in the interview process. It is also asking for transparency. What’s the real story about your org and this role?
#2. What would my priorities be for the first 6-12 months? Your candidate is intrigued. He/She is now looking for detail about what their 1st year would look like. It’s also a question to test if you (hiring manager) have really thought through your priorities and expectations of the role. You better be able to answer this one – and with more than “I want you to build relationships”. Duh.