Questions Beyond the Interview Questions

Answers to questions result in good hires.

Answers to questions result in good hires.

Recruiters and hiring managers have many questions.  It’s their job to ask questions to hire the best person for the job.  They don’t want to make a costly mistake.  It will cost the company money and cost the recruiters or hiring managers their reputation. 

The place where the recruiters and hiring managers ask most of their questions is in the interview.  However, they have other question, in addition to the standard interview, questions.  Some of them are unspoken, but the answers are observed not heard. 

Here are some of the questions the recruiters and hiring managers are asking about job candidates.

Can You:

prove it?  Instead of saying that you are an award willing (job title) or have excellent interpersonal skills, give examples that prove it.  Show in dollars or percentages what you can do.  Not everyone has the type of job that has numbers to show.  Rather, tell them how you did things better than anyone.   Maybe you created systems to streamline your tasks. 

say that concisely?  People get annoyed when some goes on and on and on instead of giving a clear and concise answer to a simple question.  It’s a time waster, and it signals either insecurity or bragging.

prepare all documents like résumés and cover letters?  Resumes and cover letters are perfect because just about everyone has insisted that is the only way a résumé and cover letter should be.  But what do follow-up documents look like?   People send thank you notes, writing samples and emails to the company with errors and show their true writing skills.

follow directions? Give them everything they want and nothing they don’t.  By not following the directions when applying for the job, they wonder what you will be like when you work for them.

fit in with the current employees?  The most qualified candidate isn’t always the one hired.  The fact that a candidate got an interview indicates the qualifications and requirements are met.  But during the interview they are looking to see if they work with the candidate.  Is the person a diva?  Do they feel entitled?  Do they have idiosyncrasies that could drive others crazy?   Or can they handle the quirky personalities of the team?

tell me about the company?  Doing research on the company and learning as much as possible can show the interviewer that the candidate is serious about working at the company.  They want to see that the skills, experience and goals of the candidate are consistent with the mission of the company.

Are You

telling me the truth?  Job searchers may think they are fooling the interviewer, but chances are they’re not.  Honesty in the job search is important.  There are ways to find out if someone is telling the truth.  They can contact people not on the reference list, check out social media, or they may know someone who knows the candidate.  The world is small, and it gets smaller. 

reliable?  How promptly requested information is provided or how quickly phone calls are returned, indicates your reliability.  If the candidate’s word is good and honors promises made.

interested in working hereSome job seachers will use the same template for their cover letters.  However, when a company receives a cover letter for another position, in another company or to someone who doesn’t work at the company, the candidacy ends immediately.   

desperate and/or depressed?  The company doesn’t want to hire people who are desperate and depressed about their job search because these people will take anything.  They want people who are enthused and engaged. 

Recruiters and hiring managers are watching and observing all the signs–verbal and nonverbal signs.  They are looking at the whole person not just the skills and experience.  Knowledge is power.  When the job searcher understands this, they are empowered to do the right thing.

How can I help you in your job search?

Image:  ponsulak

2 Comments to "Questions Beyond the Interview Questions"

  1. March 31, 2014 - 7:45 am | Permalink

    Do follow up!

    Though not a question, rather a hand written (cursive?) thank you card, in snail mail really stands out in a digital world.

    Arleen, please tell us about a what you think are good samples thanks.

    Robin Adams-West

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