Avoiding a Bad Hire with Creative Interview Questions

Smart Interviewee Creative Interview Questions

Executive Chronicles | Hiring the right person for a small business can pose a real challenge for the budding entrepreneur. First, a business owner must identify a need within the company and determine what type of person will best fill the role. Considering desirable skills, experience, and even personality traits that will mesh well with the company culture will be key to knowing what type of candidate to recruit. Then, there’s the trickiness of composing the perfect job posting that sells the position and company to ideal candidates while accurately describing the type of person that will excel on the job. It can be a struggle to find a balance between creating a thorough, effective job posting that sparks interest without listing out a laundry list of responsibilities and one-dimensional skill sets. A business owner or recruiter, like Recruiterie, must then carefully vet resumes to separate the top contenders before even diving into perhaps the most important step: the interview process.

Whether you have a singular straightforward, in-person interview or a string of phone, video, and live interviews, it’s essential for an HR department to ask the right questions to get to know a potential hire as thoroughly as possible in a short frame of time. Before even conducting the interview, a hiring manager should reread the job description to make sure it accurately conveys the essentials of the job, and to get a sense of a candidate’s expectations walking into the interview. To be well-prepared going into an interview, the hiring manager should take the time to review the resume of each applicant, noting any queries that arise about a candidate’s work history, education, or unique abilities to perform the job at hand. Ultimately, it all comes down to the questions that an interviewer prepares to deliver to applicants. With such a limited window of time, hiring managers need to be able to direct the conversation in a way that dives into any concerns about past experiences, sheds light onto what sets an applicant apart from other potential hires, and forces a candidate to critically think on the spot. Failing to carefully prepare the right questions for conducting an interview can lead to hiring the wrong person for the position, which can cost at least 30% of the employee’s first year earnings. 

Selecting the right person for a role—especially in a growing startup or small business—can be a high stakes gamble that can go terribly wrong if candidates are not adequately vetted. In addition to the costs related to recruiting for the position, there are costs related to onboarding and training that HR managers would be misusing if the wrong applicant was selected. An investment in a bad hire can mean thousands of wasted dollars, but the effect of a bad hire can extend beyond immediate monetary impact. Small business owners would have to deal with lessened productivity and a likely blow to team morale, as a poor hire can drag down the engagement of the whole team.

Asking standard interview questions to find the best fit simply won’t cut it. Any applicant that knows their way around a computer can easily look up “interview questions” and be able to prepare the best responses to common questions. Hiring managers are tasked with determining how to get candidates to give creative yet authentic answers so they can assess culture fit and alignment with company vision. Rather than asking the standard, “what are your strengths and weaknesses,” and, “tell me about yourself,” companies should dig a little deeper to see an applicant’s true character, unique perspectives, and ability to handle curveball questions. 

For some of the most inventive interview questions to ask, see the infographic from Fundera below.

Please include attribution to https://www.fundera.com with this graphic.

12 Interview Questions to Help You Find the Perfect Candidate