VenTech Search Group

As a hiring manager, you must ask the right questions in your initial interview to assess your career trajectory and make sure you are hiring for momentum.

As important as it is to get a good understanding of career trajectory, it’s very difficult to do so when you work backward as most interviewers do. 

That’s why it is important to start early in your career and work your way forward. 

It’s also important not to gloss over earlier roles. Deep dive into each of their roles over the last 10 years, allow for about 7-10 minutes for each position. 

So if your candidate has worked in 4 prior roles, then you want to allow 30-40 minutes for a career deep dive, not including introductions, demonstrations of your EVP, their questions, and of course, the wrap-up. Plan this out ahead of time.

But before you get into the deep dive ask this question to make sure the candidate’s career vision matches your job. 

“Before we jump into your background, I’d appreciate it if you would share with me what the next step in your career looks like”?

If your job doesn’t match their vision, be honest with the candidate and cut the interview short. The candidate will appreciate it.

Here’s what you should be asking, at a minimum, for each and every role:
  1. Tell me about your role, including what you were hired to accomplish?
  • You want to get a baseline of what they were hired to do and judge if they have a clear understanding of what they were hired for.

  1. Why did you choose to go to work for the company?
  • This will tell you what their motivators are.

  1. How did you fit into the organization?
  • Titles are often misleading. Who did they manage? Who were their peers? What did they own within their organization’s overall technical environment?

  1. What were your quantifiable accomplishments?
  • Ultimately, all employees are hired to make money, save money, or change a process that impacts the bottom line. If they can’t quantifiably tell you how they contributed to at least one of these three things, then you don’t have an All-Star across from you.

  1. How did you do it?
  • This question is where the rubber meets the road, and by continuing to dig deep into their accomplishments and how they achieved results, they said they achieved, their story will either stand strong or fall apart. Keep asking and keep digging until you get very close to the core of what made them successful.

  1. What was your biggest failure?
  • Do they have the emotional intelligence to learn from their mistakes? What would they have done differently?

  1. What challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them?
  • How do they respond to pressure and the threat of failure? Do they have intestinal fortitude? Grit?

  1. Tell me about your manager, and how well did you two work together?
  • Will they work well with you and your management style?

  1. What do you enjoy most, and least, about the role?
  • Will they enjoy the role or are they going to be the kind of employee that can’t wait to clock out on Friday at 5?

  1. If we get to the reference stage, what should I expect to hear from your managers?
  • Can this candidate get their prior manager on the phone for a reference and be confident about what they will say? If they say that the manager has moved on, or they can’t reach them, let them know that fortunately with LinkedIn, we can reach virtually anyone. Assure them that before we track down their former manager, that you’d prefer he/she hears it from them first. That will quickly jog their memory.

  1. Why did you leave?
  • Again, this speaks to their motivations. This is a critical key component to their career trajectory. It’s their motivations, or in other words their sense of self-actualization, that provides the link from role to role. If you find someone who is stretching each and every time they move to a new role, only to master it and then soon thereafter stretch again into their next (whether with the same company or not), you may just have an All-Star sitting in front of you. Note: if the candidate says that they didn’t leave, but were in fact terminated, find out why. A termination particularly early in their career is no reason to arbitrarily rule anyone out.

While this list of questions will get you started BEWARE not to take more than one hour for this initial interview.

Here's what one of our best clients have to say...

Play Video

companies we worked with

Contact Us - VenTech Search Group

Manufacuting recruiting services with a specialization in engineers, technicians, and plant management.

Follow Us

Sign up for our Newsletter

Like this:

%d bloggers like this: