The job interview is one of the best chances that you will get to understand the candidate, but it’s also a chance for the interviewee to assess the organisation and decide if you’re right for them. Therefore, being prepared to answer any interview questions a candidate may ask is well worth the effort and also helps to build consistent business branding.
In order to attract the right employees, its important for employers, hiring managers and inhouse recruiters to be ready to deep dive into a role and be ready to answer on the spot questions from candidates that provide depth about the role they are interviewing for and the positives things that can help a candidate determine if this is the right opportunity for them.
Here are some key areas to help you prepare to answer on-the-spot questions to reassure candidates, as well as accurately reflect your employer brand during an interview with a prospective employee.
8 Interview Questions that every Hiring Manager should be able to answer during an interview
1. What is the history of this position?
Candidates will be interested in knowing the circumstances surrounding the job opening. And you should be prepared with that information. Was someone laid off or moving to another organisation? Is it a new position being created?
Helping the candidate to understand the situation gives them insight into the organisation’s turnover rate, general trajectory, and growth opportunities.
2. What does success look like in this role?
Candidates asking about specific performance expectations are usually trying to understand the expectations and culture of your organisation. It also gives them insight into the difficulty of the role, and the organisation’s general culture.
A tip here would be to Highlight the organisation’s expectations, work philosophy, and priorities to help your candidate gauge their suitability. Try to explain what a successful applicant would look like in concrete terms. If there is a similar role in which another team member has succeeded, use their achievements as a framework. You should also provide some insight into how the candidate could achieve this success, helping them envision themselves thriving in the position.
3. How does the manager or your team/organisation measure success?
Different teams conduct performance reviews differently, at different times and with varying levels of formality. It can come down to company size, organisational structure, and the resources available.
If a candidate asks, you should always be honest about the organisation’s formal process of reviewing performance. How often, what format, with whom, and so on. Highlight the value your organisation gets from performance reviews, and how to make the most of them.
4. What can the applicant or successful candidate do in order to get up to speed quickly?
Sometimes, getting familiarised with the organisation’s procedures and tech stack is the hardest part of the onboarding process. Other times, it’s understanding the network and internal structures. A candidate who asks this question wants to hit the ground running, and that’s never a bad thing.
To help them, you could draw upon your own experience when first starting at the organisation. Otherwise, you could consider asking some successful hires about how they managed. Any guidance that you can pass on to the candidate will help. It also demonstrates a supportive environment.
5. What opportunities will I have to learn and grow?
One of the key reasons that many employees leave an organisation is a lack of developmental opportunities and upward mobility. If you’ve got these at your organisation, share them. You could use any recently promoted team members as an example of this.
Even if your organisation doesn’t have many progression pathways, at least let the candidate know. If that’s ok with them, great. If not, you’ve probably saved the company a costly turnover a few years down the track.
6. What are the main challenges your organisation is currently facing and how are you responding?
In this market, one of the top priorities for applicants is job security. Candidates need to feel confident that your organisation is resilient and adaptable to changing times.
Acknowledge any difficulties the organisation is facing, and how you’re tackling them. There will always be some challenges, candidates want to know how the organisation reacts, and to get a gauge of its steadiness. Transparency goes along way.
7. How would you describe the organisational culture?
Organisational culture is one of the most important factors that a candidate will consider before taking a job. Having a values-driven focus, offering fair expectations, recognition and rewards programs, a strong work-life balance, support, and flexibility can all help your organisation stand out.
Being honest in your answer to this question is crucial, as a misalignment between expectations and reality can lead to disappointment and a high turnover rate. By prioritizing these factors, your organization can create a positive and inclusive work environment that attracts and retains top talent.
8. How would you describe your management style?
This question ties into culture, but also indicates to your candidate the strength of leadership at the organisation.
While there are many styles of management, there are also good principles of management to keep in mind when you describe the line manager’s style to a job candidate. You should be honest about this, as a misrepresented manager could lead to avoidable clashes in the future. You can also speak to people working under the manager or talk about the style of management the organisation tends to promote.