The 4 best candidate questions, based on an exec who’s interviewed 100,000 applicants

Hiring managers across the globe face a common problem – it’s challenging to know whether a candidate is serious about your job offer. While employees everywhere tend to jump ship for a higher base salary, in Thailand, a higher base salary poses special problems. Locals aren’t typically comfortable with the concept of low base plus high commission. If a job offer with a higher base comes along, that employee will almost certainly quit. So how can you know whether or not a candidate is genuinely interested in your offer?

After interviewing 100,000 or so candidates, Sjoerd Gehring the Global Vice President of Talent Acquisition at Johnson & Johnson has heard four candidate questions that reveal an applicant is genuinely interested, and not only for the money. If you hear candidates asking questions like these, we recommend seriously considering them.

1. Questions about growth
Candidates who ask questions that relate to business growth likely have a promising future with your company. That’s why Gehring was fond of this question: “Why does this role matter to the growth of the company?” Any question about growth implies the candidate is interested in leaving a mark on the business. He or she likely wishes to be a part of the company for the long term. “This question showed me the candidate was interested in making an impact beyond their role.” said Gehring.

2. Questions that create meaningful dialogue
In interviews, most hiring managers are working from a script. And once you’ve interviewed dozens of candidates for a job, it can feel like you’re going through the motions. But when a candidate asks the following question, it opens up a space to have a more genuine discussion. “What do you like most about working here?” A question like this can force you off your script and provides an opportunity to share why your organization is special. When Gehring was asked this question, it prompted an open and honest dialogue. “We ended up having a great conversation about how rewarding a career at J&J can be.”

3. Questions that raise genuine objections
You’ve certainly had a candidate ask if you have concerns about their qualifications. And surely that question has made you a bit uncomfortable at times. If asked in the wrong tone, it can come off as brash and confrontational. But when asked with genuine concern, this candidate question can have the opposite effect: “Do you have any reservations about me or my qualifications?” Asked in the proper tone, this question offers a chance to honestly address your concerns about the candidate. In one instance, Gehring noted that this question allowed the candidate “to mitigate the concerns I had about a large, unexplained gap on their resume.”

4. Questions that are hyper specific about the role
When a candidate asks very specific job role questions, it typically reveals his or her experience. For example, Gehring once fielded this question during an interview: “Who does the wireframing for your site?” This question was asked by a candidate applying for a web related role, and it immediately showed Gehring the candidate had some expertise. Gehring described his conversation with the candidate as if “we were already working together.” Hiring the right candidate is undoubtedly difficult. But if you know the types of questions to listen for, it can reveal much about the candidate’s intentions and experience.

While there are certainly tens of thousands of candidates to choose from in Thailand, Criterion’s specialized team of consultants can help you discover the best of the best. Our recruitment agency finds experienced candidates that can help your business grow. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you find the perfect candidate.