The Questions Every Employer Should be Asking Recent College Grads (But Aren’t)
As a throng of new graduates, many employers are missing incredible hiring and retention opportunities with new graduates, all because they are asking the wrong questions. Just as the business world has evolved into a fast paced, instant access, international marketplace, the new hires and applicants entering the workforce have also transformed. Getting the best of this new breed of worker requires companies and employers to rethink their approach to interviewing, onboarding, and managerial practices. All of these issues can be solved by asking the right questions.
Questions in the Interviewing Process
Interviewing is no longer just about what an applicant can offer the company. Today interviews are more about finding the perfect fit for their company. Employers and company recruiters need to find someone who can do the job and comfortably mesh with pre-existing staff. However, most interviews consist of the same questions. Skip some of these usual suspects when it comes to interviewing potential hires.
Questions to Ask or Tweak During Interviews
Some traditional questions can be adjusted into questions that will get a more realistic and accurate response from interviewees. Also, unique questions will allow the applicant to both relax and to shake off any pretext and respond more like their usual selves.
- How’s life? How are things going for you? This may seem like a very simple question, but the response can reveal a lot about your candidate. Do they answer positively and say all the things they are doing or plan on doing? If so, you probably have a real go getter on your hands, someone who is determined to see things through no matter what. Do they answer vaguely or politely? There’s nothing wrong with answering politely or being vague, these candidates will likely do the work well, but might not take initiative. Vague answers are a sign of being guarded, so also it might take them some time to warm up to you or coworkers. Do they start listing countless complaints or issues they are going through? If someone has only complaints they may blame others for their issues and become more a of a problem than a problem solver.
- What attracted you to our company? A different version of the old, “Why do you want to work for our company?” this question helps employers understand the top priorities of applicants. An applicant will also know exactly what they love about your company and discussing this topic will begin a relationship between you both.
- How would you be a good fit for our company? Much like the previous question, this assumes the likeability of the company and helps the applicant and the interviewer imagine the applicant in the position they are applying for, or, possibly, another position that might be a better fit.
- How does this work relate to your college experience/ previous work experience? Unlike the “Why are you changing careers?” question, this question allows the applicant to show connections to previous experience and the position they are seeking. It can help employers find candidates who are truly passionate about their job and the company’s product.
- What is your favorite thing about this company? This question shows how familiar the interviewee is with the company and again shows their passion. If they aren’t familiar with the company, this might not be the place for them.
- What special niche can you fill in this company? Or… How can you help this company?- Either of these questions will help employers and applicants identify abilities and talents that might be especially beneficial to the company.
Questions to Ask after Hiring
Now that you’ve found the right applicant and they have been hired and placed into a position, there are still important questions to be asked. You can’t simply drop the new hire into their job and wait for them to sink or swim. Remember, successful employers come from successful onboarding and introductory training and support.
Managers, directors, and if possible, CEOs should talk to new hires casually on a regular basis. Take new hires out for coffee or something that is relaxing and comfortable. Don’t use meetings and appointments to gauge the progress of your new hire. Get to know them as well as possible. Here are a few things to keep asking during the first 90 days or so of employment:
- What do like most about your new position? This question will help you shape an employee’s position around their passions and strengths. When people are put into positions doing things they love and excel at, the whole company succeeds. Also, many times, positions evolve anyway, this gives you a much better success rate and lower turn over rate.
- Is this position what you thought it would be? Employers need to know how accurately interviewers and recruiters are presenting the job to possible candidates. This helps lower turn-over rates and increase productivity. How? Hires that have an accurate depiction of the position they are entering will have more realistic expectations and then will more easily fit into the role they are assuming.
- Is there anything about this position that you still don’t understand? During the onboarding process, employees should have a clear explanation of their position and the things required of them. If new hires don’t understand their job requirements or company procedures, they are sure to have lower productivity and moral. Plus, employers need to know that their onboarding practices are working.
- Do you know your coworkers better? How are you settling in with your team? While some employees may feel like they are tattling, it’s important to understand how the new hire is meshing with your existing employees. Not only ask this question, observe it. Have fun social gatherings with the team and see how they accept and treat the new member. Collaboration is the absolute key to success for any business so it is vital that new hires fit into company culture.
- As director/manager/CEO, what is something that I can do to make this adjustment period more smooth? When you ask for detailed actions or changes, you are much more likely to get an honest and reasonable answer. You can also use these responses to find ways to help new hires in the future. Plus, this question will help you gain the trust and admiration of your new hire because you are showing you care for their success.
These are just a few questions you’ll need to ask at different times during the onboarding and adjustment period of a new hire’s first 90 days. When you ask these questions, you will get to know your new hire better and be able to see how they can best serve your company.