The candidate screening process can be made simpler by narrowing the range of applicants at the start of the process. Businesses in high-demand fields might receive hundreds of applications to a single open position. While it’s possible to narrow this number down using an automated system, a better way to do it is to have a series of targeted questions as part of the application process. Read on for examples of key questions to ask applicants:
1. Give an example of a time you solved a problem for a customer.
Asking for examples of previous customer service experience is vital, even if the position isn’t directly client-facing. There will always be times when employees come into contact with customers or clients and it’s helpful to know how comfortable applicants in those situations are. Inside Careers noted that this kind of question can give applicants the opportunity to show various qualities related to the job. For example, an individual applying for a programming position might be able to highlight his technical knowledge as well as his ability to simplify complicated information for a layperson.
Screen applicants with customized questions.Screen applicants with customized questions.
2. What are you most proud of in your professional career?
This question gives applicants the opportunity to brag about themselves. It gives the hiring manager a better view of what candidates value in their professional lives. From a screening perspective, this question can help the hiring manager narrow down the list of candidates to those whose values align with the company. The Muse suggested that ideal candidates will answer this question with hard facts. For example, a candidate might show her value by explaining how she reduced costs at her previous employer.
3. Describe your managerial style.
When hiring upper-level employees, it is important that their managerial style is consistent with what has already been implemented at the company. Changing someone’s way of managing is difficult and generally more trouble than it’s worth. Managers play an important role in developing company culture – if there’s a rift in styles, it could cause trouble among teams. Of course, not everyone within the company needs to behave in exactly the same manner, but there should be some consistency. Hiring authorities can use this question to find out if a potential hire will work well with others at the company. A follow up to this question might ask for further examples of how applicants have implemented their managerial styles at previous employers.
4. What do you know about the company?
This question can easily cull the number of applicants who apply for jobs en masse. It’s always better to hire candidates who want to work for a specific business for unique reasons. While it might be true that they’re applying to the job because it offers an attractive salary and good benefits, they should be able to explain why a particular position spoke to them. Applicants who answer this question poorly can usually be set aside without further consideration. It might seem harsh, but when hiring managers have dozens of applications to process, they shouldn’t waste any time on half-hearted candidates.
5. How would you handle X problem?
If the position is one that requires specific technical knowledge, you can easily screen out undesirable applicants by asking very specific questions about the job. Provide an example of a problem employees might face on an average day and have them explain how they would solve it. Encourage them to be as detailed as possible.
Customized questions optimize the application process for hiring managers. Global HR Solutions helps employers develop branded job boards with completely unique application questions.