10 Questions To Ask Every Candidate

We’ve all been tempted to “shoe-in” a candidate when our gut tells that he/she may is not the right fit or job. “After all, it’s a numbers game, right?” Wrong. Ask the tough questions up front and represent your candidates with brutal honesty. Your Clients and your Candidates will thank you when you save them the time and the trouble of entering into a lengthy interview process only to discover that there is no match.
For some Recruiters – where KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators such as # of interviews per week) are the yardstick by which their activity is measured, this is a tough call to make.
This list of questions is in addition to the skills match/technical screening that you need to conduct.

1. Do you have any other offers, interviews on the table?
2. What do you like about this new opportunity? How does this measure up against your current position?
3. Have you discussed your situation/problem with your current employer? How did they respond?
4. Would you consider a counter-offer from your current employer? How much?
5. What’s your bottom line (compensation) for the new position? If they offer $5k less – would you like me to decline on your behalf?
6. If they offer you $(candidate’s target comp) – is there anything preventing you from accepting immediately? When could you start?
7. Are there any skills/technologies on your resume that you do not have practical experience with? Any skills that you would rate yourself as Novice?
8. Why did you leave your previous company?
9. (If relocating) Do you have a house you need to sell? Do you have any personal/family commitments that may prevent you from accepting this position?
10. Do you have at least two solid references from previous employers or referees that we may contact?

These questions will reveal the suitability and intentions of your candidate and help prevent unwanted surprises and disappointment later in the process.
It’s OK to submit candidates who are not perfect (see There Are No Perfect Candidates)- just be certain to represent them honestly – and you will set yourself apart as an excellent Recruiter in the process.

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