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Properly screening applicants with the right interview questions sets the stage for being able to identify, hire and retain the best candidate for your organization. The impact of not asking the right questions can lead to a potential bad hire, which can affect the moral of other employees and financially impact the organization. According to the US Department of Labor and Statistics, the average cost of a bad hire decision can equal 30% of the individual’s first-year earnings when you consider the cost to hire and train the employee only for the employee to quickly leave the organization.  To ensure that you avoid the negative impact of a bad hire, below are several effective interview questions to ask when screening applicants.

4 Questions to Use When Screening Applicants

Question: “What prompted you to apply to this position? Why do you want this job?”

Goal: It’s important to identify if the candidate is truly interested in the role/company and why. If the candidate isn’t able to articulate their drive for the role or understanding of the organization it may be an indication of how serious the candidate is about the open position. Screening applicants with such a question should reveal serious candidates who have spent time researching the company and the responsibilities of the role.

Question: “Tell me about an initiative or idea that you implemented at your last position that increased productivity, saved time and/or money.”

Goal: Bret Ranoa, Senior Director of Airport Customer Services at Hawaiian Airlines said that this is his favorite interview question when screening applicants because he believes that the question highlights a candidate’s willingness to go the extra mile and strive for continuous improvement. Questions like this that touch on a candidate’s successes at work provides insight into the candidate’s values and what he or she considers important. It also demonstrates what the applicant considers to be an achievement.

Question: “Describe your ideal work culture and an environment in which you can excel.”

Goal: Culture questions touch on what a candidate needs from their physical office environment and coworkers. Screening applicants with questions relating to work culture helps recruiters assess whether or not the work environment is congruent with the candidate’s needs and if he or she will fit in.

Question:  “Tell me about a common misconception that people have of you?”

Goal: Sonia Brummer, Customer Service Manager at Medivators Inc, likes screening applicants with this question because she believes that it touches on a candidate’s faults and also gives space for the candidate to explain him or herself without sounding defensive. Screening applicant with questions like this probes the candidate to reveal more about their personality, professionalism, confidence and humor. It can also banish a misconception that the interviewer was already thinking!

Screening applicants with the hopes to find the right candidate can be difficult, but asking the right questions and noting which questions you find helpful can make the process easier and ensure a good hire. Hiring tools such as digital recruitment platforms allow you to keep your interview process organized and make sure that the questions you wanted to be answered get asked.  After all, the team you compile to run your organization is arguably the most important factor to your organization’s success.

Image used under Creative Commons from Roland O’Daniel

This article was originally published at http://blog.rivs.com/2015/08/screening-applicants-questions/

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