Source | INC : By Jeff Haden
Almost every small business owner has interviewed people to fill their openings. I have. You have.
So you know it almost always seems like a waste of time when you ask a candidate, “What questions do you have for me?”
Why is that a waste of time? Most people, when they ask questions, don’t actually care about your answers; they just hope to make themselves look good by asking what they think will seem like “smart” questions. To them, what they ask is the important thing; they really don’t care how you answer.
But a few people — the best people — actually care. The best candidates ask questions they want you to answer because they’re interviewing your company and evaluating whether they really want to work for you. (Never forget that the best candidates almost always have options.)
What kinds of questions do the people you really want to hire ask?
1. “What do you expect me to accomplish in the first ninety days?”
Great candidates want to hit the ground running. They don’t want to spend weeks or months “getting to know the organization.” They don’t want to spend huge chunks of time in orientation, in training, or in the futile pursuit of getting their feet wet.
They want to make a difference — and they want to make that difference right now.
2. “If you were to rank them, what are the top three attributes your top performers have in common?”
Great candidates also want to be great employees. They know every organization is different — and so are the key qualities of top performers in those organizations.
Maybe your top performers work longer hours. Maybe creativity is more important than methodology. Maybe constantly landing new customers in new markets is more important than building long-term customer relationships. Maybe the key is a willingness to spend the same amount of time educating an entry-level customer as helping an enthusiast who wants high-end equipment.
Great candidates want to know, because 1) they want to know if they will fit in, and 2) if they do fit in, they want to know how they can be a top performer.