Hiring Handbook: Using Positive Interview Questions

Unemployment is very low.  It’s sign that the economy is cruising along and companies are growing.  When someone leaves an organization, they are actually being replaced as opposed to the last few years when the work was just spread around.  People are pretty happy. They are not desperate to find a new gig.  They don’t hate their boss and they are not being laid off.  In many cases, they are up for bonuses for the first time in years.

That means that when people are exploring new job opportunities, they are doing just that: exploring.

When candidates are in this state of mind, it does not work to start an interview with this question:

“So, why are you looking to leave?”

Chances are they are not looking to leave their current job.  They are just interested in finding out more about the job you are looking to fill.

It’s not that you have to do a total sales job on why your company is amazing and how you are a shoe-in for the manager of the year.

But you do need to focus on asking for and providing positive information.  You can ask questions about why the candidate is interested in your company.  You can also ask about their every day work and the successes they have had. They can talk about what kind of manager brings out their best.

These types of questions will elicit a positive discussion and let the best qualities of both the candidate and the organization shine through.

Asking the typical questions that come from a more interrogative point of view and elicit more negatively toned answers are not going to do either party any favors.

So, before your next interview, take a look at the questions you plan to ask. Evaluate whether they will provide the framework for a positive or a negative answer and adjust accordingly.

It will be worth the investment.

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