Hispanic woman in an office; good candidate

3 things a candidate wants to know (but probably won’t ask)

Christina Bruce|

“So, do you have any questions for me?”

We’ve all heard the silence that can follow this during an interview.  But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things that candidates wonder about.

There’s a lot going through your  mind during an interview. A good candidate will ask the right kind of questions to learn a little about the business. There are some questions, however, that a candidate might not ask, but is probably curious to know. We’re not talking about the obvious things like salary, how many people have been interviewed, or when a decision will be made—that goes without saying. Rather, those curious questions that tell them about the business and the role itself. Why is the position open?

Most candidates probably won’t go here if the information isn’t offered up. And that happens a surprising amount. Is this a new position being created? Is it replacing someone who just left? Why did they leave? Is someone still in this role right now? Candidates probably won’t ask, but you can bet they want to know. What are the challenges?

This often won’t come up during an interview, and that’s understandable. You are, after all, trying to sell candidates on the opportunity. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t wondering where the problems lie. And let’s be honest—even a well-oiled machine can use a little tune-up. What do you hear from employees about difficulties at work? Is it tons of red tape that make getting things done tricky? Is it an obvious staffing challenge in a certain area? Is it difficulty to meet targets? Communication between departments? Every position has a challenging component that even the best of employees struggle with. How is ‘success’ defined in this role?

Oddly, this is usually laid out after a candidate has been hired. And for many roles, it’s not as simple as meeting a quota or target (although it can be). Is creativity valued highly? Is it a high-output role? What makes an employee really stand out here? If possible, reviews the fining metrics associated with the role, or come armed with an example of how someone really stood out. A great candidate will want to know what it takes to excel.


Category: Hiring Advice, Recruitment Challenges,