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One Overlooked Interview Question Can Make a Real Difference in Your Business

By May 28, 2019 No Comments

One overlooked interview question can really make a difference in your business. This interview question is not like the others. Why? Because most interview questions look at the past. They ask questions such as, what has the candidate experienced? What did he or she learn on the job? What was accomplished? Few people think to ask the candidate what the candidate can do for you.

one overlooked interview question

Photo by Amy Hirschi, Unsplash

In the end, isn’t that what matters most? Where hiring is concerned, the past is interesting but the future is most important.

So the one overlooked interview question you should probably ask is:

“What can you do in the first 90 days with our company that might make the biggest difference to our success?”

When you invest in a new employee, wouldn’t you like to know that there will be a positive return on his or her salary? After all, that is just smart business. Of course, we all know that some roles have a bigger impact on the bottom line than others.

overlooked question

Photo by Johanna Buguet, Unsplash.

But on that same token, every senior-level employee should understand how their role contributes to the overall productivity of the organization and they should be able to vocalize it. For example, someone joining your HR department might have an impact on lower training costs and improving retention rates. How would they measure the current impact of these factors? What tactics might they deploy to improve the positive impact?

Listen to their answer and go deeper. Ask how and why. After all, a goal without a plan is just a nice dream.

Asking follow-up questions is a great way to to learn more about the candidate’s preparation for the interview, their knowledge of your business, and their interest in the role.

Learn what the candidate really knows about your business.

For example, the candidate has to know enough about your business and your industry to know what truly drives results.

Learn whether the candidate wants the job…or just the job title.

Some candidates only seek the position. Perhaps it’s because the role is the next step on their career ladder, or it means more money, or they want to stop being an individual contributor and start working through others. Whatever the reason, they simply want the job title.

one overlooked interview question

Photo by Croissant Coworking, Unsplash.

Other people want the job. They want to do the work, and the title just makes it easier for them to do that work. For example, they want to be a sales director because they want to sell more. Or, they want to be an engineering manager because they want to design and build more products.

A candidate who wants the title will focus on what they’ve done in the past. A candidate who wants the job will tell you how their past will allow them to accomplish the things they plan to achieve in the future.

Learn whether the candidate intends to make an immediate impact.

Great candidates want to hit the ground running. They want to make a difference. Right away. Which is what you want, too.

Learn more about the candidate’s cultural fit.

Every organization is different and so are the key qualities of its outstanding employees. Finding out how candidates plan to impact your bottom line helps determine if they are a fit. It also lets you know if they have the potential to be an outstanding employee.

Interview Question

Waiting for the job interview.

What attributes does your organization value? Maybe your best employees work longer hours. Maybe creativity is more important than following best practices. Perhaps landing new customers in new markets is more important. Or maybe you place a higher value on building long-term customer relationships.

Or maybe there is a value missing from your organization that you are hoping to add with a new employee. It could be a work ethic, a perspective, a skill set or experience.

Give the One Overlooked Interview Question a Try

The next time you do an interview, give the unasked question a try. Ask your next candidate how they can impact your bottom line. The answers may be enlightening.

You may be surprised by how quickly a candidate you thought was great turns out not to be…and how a candidate you might have overlooked will immediately rise to the top.

About Manhattan Resources

Manhattan Resources is a retained executive search and advisory services firm with deep experience supporting clients in varied industries. We have roots in oil & gas, retail energy, power & utilities, and petrochemicals, to manufacturing & distribution, legal, and engineering & construction, to name a few. For this reason, Manhattan Resources invites you to experience an executive search and business solutions partner like no other. As always, we are there to help you fill mission-critical leadership roles, build short-term teams, and tackle your most significant challenges. Manhattan Resources has the agility, innovation and business acumen to assume a bold approach. As a result, we will help you take your business to the next level. Find out how the experts can help. Contact Us >>