Does the phrase “Do you have any questions for me?” ever yield insight on a prospective new hire?
That’s what Jeff Haden, columnist for Inc.com, asked earlier this month. Though most of the time it can feel like a fruitless effort that usually results in “trying-to-sound-more-smart-than-I-am” type diatribes, there are a few questions that should automatically trip your internal potential-good-employee alarm.
These four questions are the right questions because it shows you one important thing: This prospective hire is actually interested in working for you.
1. What do you expect me to accomplish in the first 2-3 months?
Someone who asks you this is clearly eager to sink their teeth in to the job right away, and isn’t overly concerned with a fancy orientation where they’ll “get to know” the company.
If you get this question, be frank and direct and see how they respond. If they’re for real, they may even follow up with a more specific question.
2. What are the common attributes of top performers?
Do your top performers work extra hours? Build expertise in different areas? Favor creativity over strict methodology?
Questions like those may be running through your candidate’s head if they hit you with this question. This shows that the candidate is seriously considering the possibility of staying with your company for a long time.
3. What are a few things that really drive results?
Even if they’re applying for a position in one specific section of the Finance department, they may want to know if another section is more responsible for boosting productivity. Good sign of a candidate who’s eager to learn more than they signed up for.
4. What do employees do in their spare time?
At first, this might seem like an odd one. Why does this person care what our employees are doing when they clock out?
But in actuality, this candidate is putting him- or herself in the shoes of one of your employees. This candidate wants to be happy with their job, so hearing that your employees maintain an active social life and everyone hangs out together for Friday happy hour can say a lot about your work environment, too.
What do you think of these questions? Are there some other questions a candidate has asked you that really wowed you? Don’t keep it a secret — let us know in the comments below.