(2-minute, 30 second read)

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey estimated that two openings exist for every unemployed job seeker.

While competing fiercely for qualified candidates, employers are focused on two things- retaining current employees, and making the hiring process as efficient and positive as possible.

Dr. Brad Chambers’ recent Harvard Business Review article, “Is your hiring process costing you talent?” offers a 4-question process for creating a positive hiring experience. The article got me thinking about the most granular aspect of the hiring process- interview questions.

In the employer-favorable 2019 market, interview questions focused heavily on assessing skills competency. Today, successful interviews focus equally on assessing skills, competence and cultural fit. Whether your organization works in person, remotely or in a hybrid model, what employers want and need are team members who communicate well, collaborate freely, manage time well and think creatively.

That’s a lot to assess in an interview.

Thinking about hiring today made me wonder if interview questions have shifted to keep pace with this new norm. To find out, I surveyed several clients. While some have retooled their questions, many ask the same pre-pandemic questions with the hope of a different result. The “good hire” results were mixed.

If your interview questions could use a refresh, start by reviewing your current list. If you are asking reactive, one-way interview questions like “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” now is an excellent time to upgrade your questions to encourage two-way conversations that make it easier to visualize the candidate in the role.

How you phrase the questions is also important. Make questions personal to elicit answers based on real-life experience. Begin with the most open-ended questions like “What’s the most creative thing you’ve done recently?” for building an organic, iterative conversation.

Here’s a list of interview questions refreshed for today’s hiring and designed to help both interviewer and interviewee determine if the position and the organization are a good fit.

If you’re hiring remote employees, check out Fast Company’s list of remote work interview questions.

For interviewees, Amy Gallo’s recent HBR article includes a great list of questions to ask your potential employer.

Asking questions that permit both organization and the candidate to explain – using real-life situations- how each thinks, works, and behaves allows both parties to visualize how the candidate will integrate into the organization’s daily life.

Scenario-based questions create conversation and realistic impressions, leading to better hiring decisions.


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