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These days, most companies realize how important it is to hire candidates that will fit in with their corporate culture. But with limited time during interviews, how can you determine a candidate’s true personality and assess how they’ll fit in?

Go beyond the standard biographical or skill-set questions and ask a few that will show you what a candidate is really made of.  Try a few nontraditional questions like the following:

  • “What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?” This question is a good way to identify if a candidate works hard and plays hard.  A more adventurous candidate is often a calculated risk taker on the job. They are very proactive at work and enjoy getting the most out of life, whether at home or in the office.
  • “What are the first three things you do at work each morning?” How a person answers this question can tell you a lot about how they work.  Since each workday needs to be planned, with tasks prioritized, what a candidate does first in the morning is important.  A good candidate will respond by mentioning a calendar or status sheet, or talk about getting the highest priorities done first.
  • “What kinds of people bother you?” This question not only reveals a candidates pet peeves, it’s an indication of how they’ll fit in with different personalities on your team.  If the candidate says they’re not bothered by anyone, that’s a red flag.  Everyone is bothered by a certain communication style or personality trait.  However, if the applicant mentions multiple personality styles that bother them, they likely won’t be a good fit. Listen very carefully to how a candidate answers this question.
  • “What are three goals you have for the future?” Maybe the answer will be work related, or maybe the candidate will tell you about a trip they want to cross off their bucket list. Either way, this question will give you a better understanding as to what really matters to the person you are interviewing.

The point of these questions is not to trip a candidate up. There should be no right or wrong answers, just a way to gain insight into the candidate’s sense of humor and give the candidate a taste of your company culture. The above questions are a great place to start, but try coming up with a few of your own!

If you’d like more help with your interview process, Smith Hanley specializes in identifying and recruiting the ideal candidates. Contact us today to see how we can deliver the right people for your open positions.


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