The interview process is no longer just about a candidate selling themselves. With more competition and new roles created every day, you need to sell the candidate on your company as much as they need to convince you they’re right for the role.
We recently wrote about common questions that candidates ask during interviews and the typical responses received. We’re back for round two with more questions that could make or break bringing someone on.
Common Candidate Questions & What They Really Want To Know
What does the job look like day-to-day?
Common interviewer response: Interviewers often avoid answering this question directly given how fast and often things can change. Candidates often hear something along the lines of, “Well every day is different.”
What candidates really want to hear: While candidates in most roles do understand that every day is different, they do want to know about core requirements of the job they’d potentially be walking into. Before answering, think about what the key responsibilities are. Are there any daily deadlines the person must meet? Are there weekly duties that must be completed? No matter what changes each day, there are typically core functions that will stay the same each day or week that you can share.
Is there room for growth in this role?
Common interviewer response: It’s easy to get enthusiastic and a little bit defensive by the number of opportunities in the company. The natural reaction is usually something along these lines: “Tons! The sky’s the limit when you work with us!”
What candidates really want to hear: How long do people usually sit in this role? Is there anything that stands out as something that could speed up growth? Do you only review and promote on cycles or focus on time in role versus skills?
What challenges can I expect in this role?
Common interviewer response: Interviewers often try to downplay any challenges that the person might face but that ends up sounding insincere.
What candidates really want to hear: Every job has challenges that can range from hard-to-please stakeholders to a large learning curve due to the subject matter. Be honest about what those challenges are and how people in the past have overcome them.
Where is the company headed in the next five years?
Common interviewer response: A canned response about growth plans and new products and services to better meet the needs of customers.
What candidates really want to hear: This question can be similar to the ‘growth opportunity’ question above. The candidate really wants to know how solid the vision for the company is and what it will mean to their position or team. It shows they’re thinking about the longer term and want to make sure you are too.
What is the team like?
Common interviewer response: This sounds like a second opportunity to sell your fantastic company culture. Interviewers will often refer back to that ‘work hard, play hard’ mantra while completely missing what the candidate is actually looking for.
What candidates really want to hear: All teams have subcultures that feed into a company’s broader culture. Is the team generally outgoing? Are the members more introverted? Is it a tight-knit crew that goes to lunch every Thursday?