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As you interview candidates for a long-term position, you want to ensure that you hire someone who has clear long-term goals, preferably ones that align with your company’s. You don’t want to take the time to bring someone on who will simply use you as a jumping-off point, staying for a few months and then leaving for a different position. One way to gauge candidates’ ambitions is to ask certain kinds of questions during the interview that will give you a clearer picture of their future endeavors.

Use these example questions to gauge candidate goals:

What would your current employer need to offer in order to keep you?

This question allows you to see what aspirations the candidate has and what they want for the future, in that it gives them the chance to say that they would like the opportunity to move up the ladder to a higher position or take on more challenges/responsibilities. It puts them in a position to consider what they want from their job down the road, and tells you about their goals.

What is your ambition?

Sometimes you simply may want to go for the obvious question to see how fully the candidate answers. The candidate who can answer without hesitation has thought about this question a lot, and considers it an important one to consider. In their answer, you can see whether their ambition aligns enough with goals you have for your company enough to make a good fit. It also tells you if they have realistic ambitions: If they’re applying for an entry-level position, and want to become a VP in five years, that may demonstrate naivete or arrogance.

Why are you looking?

Consider this a similar version of the first question: The candidate’s answer will give you insight as to why they’re choosing to change positions: If they feel stifled at their current job and wants to do more with his skills in terms of workload and meeting new challenges, that gives you a window into their ambitions. They may also tell you that this position aligns with their career goal of working at a specific type of company or getting a managerial position within a chosen field. This question lets you see what they want for their future.

How does this opportunity align with your future goals?

By asking the question this way you can see if – again – the candidate will fit well into the position, plus it requires them to name their ambitions. If their goals seem to go in a very different direction than where you see your company heading, you may want to think twice about hiring them. If they understand the position well enough to easily explain how it lines up with future career plans, you may be looking at a great long-term hire.

Understanding a candidate’s goals will allow you to hire not only the most focused choice, but also the choice who’s focused most on you. For help with interviewing, reach out to the experienced staffing professionals at PrideStaff Thousand Oaks today!

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