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How to Conduct an Interview Using Strategic Questions

How to Conduct an Interview Using Strategic Questions

As the world of work is changing — constantly reorganising, fragmenting, and requiring market re-conceptualisation – your hiring strategies also need constant updating. You must have strategic interview questions as well as internal questions to ask candidates to see if they have the attributes you need to grow your business and adapt to constant change.

Old command and control work environments did not demand the kind of flexibility, adaptability, and broad business knowledge that new dynamic work environments do. Desirable candidates, even ones who have the right qualifications, must be flexible, rapid and eager learners. Here are some tips on how to conduct an interview with some specific strategic interview questions you can use.

1. Is the Candidate Highly Adaptive?

You want someone who is fast on their feet in adapting to changes in the work environment, since right now change is the only constant in most organisational systems. Can the candidate offer you examples of how they were able to grow, shift, and evolve to workplace change in their last position? Adaptability, the capacity to take on new roles and embrace new ways of thinking, are critical and should be part of any hiring strategy when the winds of the economy swirl.

2. Do They Ask Great Questions?

Everyone knows that the most important thing a candidate can do in preparing for an interview is to research the position. To gauge their level of preparation, consider asking a strategic interview question such as: “what have you heard about this business or industry?”

In addition, a candidate should be able to ask insightful questions during an interview. Are they able to listen, synthesise and ask thoughtful questions about the heart of your business? Great interview questions from the candidate can tell you a lot about how they think and whether they will be able to diagnose a market problem as it is occurring, and respond to it.

3. Are They Voraciously Curious?

What else do they want to know? Are they lit up with questions? What’s behind a curious mind is the ability to embrace uncertainty which often comes with learning something new. Because a great employee now needs to be a great learner, being voraciously curious is key to high productivity and breakthrough thinking.

4. Can They See Patterns in Disparate Information?

Mountains of data and an overabundance of information now overwhelm every work environment. Among the techniques of how to conduct an interview is posing strategic questions that allow the candidate to demonstrate that they can see patterns and sense important trends in information, workflows and organisational crises.

Old-style work environments required employees who could effectively respond, but new market conditions demand the ability to proactively “see” what is happening in the market synthetically, and to be able to communicate it to others. This ability to see patterns in swaths of information and data needs to be part of your hiring strategies, from the front desk receptionist, to the regional sales manager, to IT security.

5. Are They Team Players?

Over at Netflix, where the corporate culture is all about freedom and responsibility to lead the market in innovation, they emphasise the hiring and retention of candidates who are superb collaborators. While some businesses tolerate “brilliant jerks,” today’s competitive business environment demands hiring strategies identify individuals who are deeply cooperative and have skills to help groups thrive and be productive.

You do not want to hire a “swan,” someone who is so self-directed and creative they have difficulty collaborating, or an “eagle” that thinks only about themselves and their own competitive gains. This means searching for the candidate who understands that their thinking is improved by collaboration and diversity, and also has the interpersonal skills to add to the team.

6. Are They Good Resource Managers?

Knowing how to do best with less is a critical new skill as the world downsizes and gets focused on using, owning, and consuming less stuff. Can the candidate use both sides of their post-it notes? Are they morally committed to the project of more for less, because it is good for everyone?

7. Are They Enthusiastic About People and Relationships?

“Spirited” workplaces are filled with individuals who are creative communicators — who are affirming of others and attentive to how their interactions with other make people feel. Enthusiastic people tend to generate positive feelings and productive energy for their projects and initiatives, because they are creative in connection and savvy about their impact on others.

Your hiring strategies and learning how to conduct an interview to attract people with this energy into your company are critically important. Do you feel this spirit when you are talking to a candidate?

8. Can They Admit to Mistakes?

Many of us learned in school that making mistakes was an indicator of lack of ability. New research describes how adaptive learning requires mistake making — you cannot go forward without experimenting. Really able learners make a lot of mistakes and are able to glean important lessons from them. Look for the candidate who can easily describe three failures, and what they learned from them. Take it as a warning sign if they cannot readily describe their mess-ups.

9. Do They See Learning as Pleasure?

When you hire employees, you should be looking for collectors, people who get excited about collecting knowledge. Because great candidates are eager and rapid learners, they will also have learnings they pursue on their own. What are they? Do you get excited when the candidate describes them?

10. Is This the Kind of Learner You Want on Your Team?

You are hiring a candidate, not just their skills. No candidate has exactly the right skills for the job or is perfectly qualified. Who is the person sitting in front of you, and are they someone you want on your team after a restructuring, business crisis, or redesign of the firm? Do they have values and habits you respect? Can you trust them to do the right thing?

Every employee is going to have to “learn into” any job they are hired for now. Your gut will help, but a hiring strategy that includes the right interview questions to ask candidates is also critical. We hope these tips on how to conduct an interview will help you surpass your organisation’s staffing objectives.

How to Conduct an Interview to Hire Your Next Employee

A properly planned and well-executed interview and hiring strategy is the best way to ensure whether a prospective new hire is right for the job. But first, before you even get to that point, you will need to bring in a quality field of candidates. As these tips on how to conduct an interview demonstrate, Monster’s has the ability to help you find them. Find out how to get started with a free job listing today.