During the process, you’ll be asking questions and conducting background checks, and your candidate will be doing the same.

If you’re hiring for anything more than the lowliest of entry level positions in your company, chances are the process will involve many calls, emails, meetings and interviews. During the process, you’ll be asking questions and conducting background checks, and your candidate will be doing the same.

In fact, interviewing is such a big deal that there are whole industries devoted to teaching candidates how to ace them, and what to say when presented with common questions. If they’re doing all that training and learning, role play and reading, then it’s probably a good idea that you do the same!

After all, top candidates are in demand, and if they’re weighing your company up at the same time that you’re assessing them, you might find yourself being on the receiving end of the rejection! It’s not enough to find out what a company background check is likely to turn up and prepare for that, either. Here’s what you need to know about what candidates typically ask, and how you should answer.

1. Questions Are a Good Thing

You don’t bother interviewing candidates you know won’t be a fit, do you? Candidates are the same. They won’t apply for jobs that don’t pique their interest, and when the time comes to hand over to them in the interview, if they ask questions, it means they’re still interested. Asking questions also means that prospective employees are invested in the process, and if they’re on your short list, that’s a very good sign!

2. Not All Questions Are Equal

If candidates ask primarily about salary, perks, vacation time or lunch programs, then they might not be as serious about your company as you would like. However, if they take the time to ask in-depth questions, they’re not only interested, but they’re also candidates who should be on your short list. Those questions might include:

  • Questions about your company growth.
  • Expansion plans.
  • Typical career paths in their field, in your company.
  • Questions about culture.

Sometimes, they may ask questions that indicate they are already considering methods of improving your company or processes. Those are great questions too, and they indicate that the candidate is a self-starting, goal setting, problem solver. Exactly the type of person you want on your team!

3. Be Prepared

Interview role play and practice questions allow good candidates to get comfortable, get their answers to popular questions formulated, and be confident and relaxed during the interview. Take a leaf out of their book, and prepare for questions ahead of time. If you have a company prospectus or an annual report, that can be a good source of information, facts and figures. Alternatively, make notes of where your company is going, how you plan to get there, and how the role you’re interviewing for will be part of that.

Prepare answers that relate to typical career paths in similar fields, or training and advancement programs, and yes, make sure you know the answers to the easy questions too. Particularly when they are role specific.

A Two-Way Process

Think of the interview as your method of screening candidates, as well as their opportunity for conducting their own company background check. If you both like what you see, you may well find that you have a long, mutually beneficial relationship ahead of you.

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