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5 Questions to determine a hires' fit

March 21, 2022

If you’re hiring in 2023, you probably already have a list of standard questions you ask candidates, like “tell me about yourself?” and “what are your long-term goals?”

But in 2023’s hiring market, we recommend several interview questions and talking points to consider adding to your list (if you're not asking these already). Adding questions like these can:

1. Help you make sure you have the highest quality candidates possible, and

2. Increase the chances of your top candidates accepting your offer.


Here are some of our favorite prompts for hiring managers to ask candidates.


1. What’s something you don’t like doing at work? This question can help with two things: 1. To determine if a candidate is the right fit, and 2. To assure your candidates know they don’t need to worry about tasks they hate doing. For example, if a product manager candidate says they hate meetings, and don’t like communicating across teams – well, then that may be a sign they’re not right for a job where you’re measured on those abilities.

But if a candidate says they don’t like working in a particular coding language that you know your company doesn’t use – that’s a great thing to mention. Your candidate now knows they won’t be expected to do something they dislike, and they can use that information as a “pro” in reviewing a potential offer from you.


2. What excites you about work? Conversely, asking candidates what they enjoy about work can help you determine their fit. If they’re excited about growing a large, dynamic team, and the role you’re discussing allows them to do that – then that’s a win for them.


Plus, this can be a more interesting, alternative way to ask candidates “Tell me about your career?” or “Where do you see yourself in five years?” For candidates who have been on multiple, long interviews with different companies – asking a question about what’s exciting to them gives them the opportunity to share their passion and can be a breath of fresh air.


3. Talk less about “culture” and more about what drives people at your company. Increasingly, there’s been a shift away from employers talking about if someone is a “cultural fit” or not, and more towards more inclusive ways of describing teams.

Think about it from the candidates’ perspective – top talent wants to know that they can be on a high-performing, highly-motivated team who are all working towards the same goal. Not if everyone went to the same college, or has children or not, or if they like hanging out together on the weekends (the nature of remote work probably means they can’t do this anyways!). By talking about your culture less so as “who fits in”, and more so as a collection of top performers, you’re more likely to attract those top individuals.

4. Where are you at in your interview process, and which other companies are you talking to right now? This is a great question because it can help determine if your candidate is close to receiving other offers (or - maybe they’ve already received other offers!). For example, if you’re working with a top candidate who’s already received two offers and needs to decide by the end of next week – that’s a signal to you to speed up your hiring process and schedule your next meeting ASAP (if you need help speeding up your hiring timeline, let us know at sales@recruitingfromscratch.com and we’ll let you know how we can help).

5. Ask a fun question. Most interviews are conducted via video call or phone in 2022, and while that’s not changing anytime soon – it can be fun to connect with your interviewee on something else other than work. Spending a little bit of time getting to know the person on the other side of the camera can go a long way in candidates remembering your conversation and feeling welcome. A great way to do this is to ask them where they’re based out of, and a question about that place. Are they from Austin? Great - what are their favorite spots for tacos? Are they in Los Angeles? Awesome - what's their favorite local, non-touristy beach spot? 

Add one or more of these questions to your next interview to hear more “yeses!” from your top talent choices. Good luck!

Want more interview prep? Check out our posts on: 

Interview prep for Founding Engineers

How to answer the interview question, what do you bring to the company

How to talk about a career change

How to talk about your long-term career goals

For other interview tips, check out our other posts on interviewing on the blog.

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