5 Best Interview Questions To Hire Great Talent

Hiring talent is not an easy job. During the different steps of the recruitment process, there are little tips and tricks that can help hiring professionals with the intricate task to identify the most talented candidates.

As a recruiter, when you are going through the resumes you may pay attention at how candidates have presented their most remarkable achievements on their resume. During this part of the process, you may look for some first signs of talent and potential. Aspects such as previous accomplishments, attitude towards work and originality are some positive indicators.

However, it is during a face-to-face interview when you will have a better chance to know the contestants, and there will be a real opportunity to detect the great talent that so many companies are after. The trick is that employers should hire for potential not for experience, as “past performance doesn’t guarantee future success”.

But how can you identify candidates with the highest potential if it is not based on their education or working experience? These 5 questions will help go the extra mile in a work interview and uncover those hidden gems.

– How many tennis balls can you fit into a limousine?

This is a brilliant question to test a candidate’s problem-solving ability. What you are looking for with this question is someone whose rationale starts by thinking about how big is a limousine and the measurements of a tennis ball. You are not after an exact number but a correct thinking process. So all those candidates trying to guess with an estimated number are not showing signs of being very talented people.

– Let’s stop talking about you; tell me something interesting about me.

This question has a twofold purpose. On the one hand, it will help you find out if the applicant has done the research about the company and the team. And on the other hand, you are not looking to learn something new about yourself but the contestant’s reaction to an unexpected issue. This is important because working with clients you need to be prepared to answer all sorts of questions, even those you don’t have an answer for.

– What would be your dream job?

Talented people normally have big ambitions and clear goals. With this query, you will find out two crucial things. First of all, if you are in front of a person committed to their work that will complement and work well with the rest of the team. And secondly and probably most importantly, when you are hiring talent you need to think about how are you going to retain it, so this question will help you understand that person’s opportunities to grow within the company.

 – What do you do for fun?

Keeping the right balance between personal and professional life is key for success, and as the co-founder of BigCommerce, Mitchell Harper, explains, talented people “strive to do well in most, if not all, areas of their life including physical fitness, relationships contribution and learning”.

Asking this question you will identify goal-oriented personalities and those who are constantly looking to self-improve. People, who make additional efforts in their personal life, such as learning how to play an instrument or a foreign language and volunteering in their spare time, will be the ones also making an additional effort in a professional environment.

– What is the best criticism you have ever received? Did you appreciate it at the time you received it?

In a constantly changing world, it is necessary to know how to receive feedback and learn from it. Constructive criticism helps us learn and improve and talented people know this naturally. You may discard candidates who don’t remember having done anything wrong and those who seem uncomfortable with the idea of receiving criticism. These are signs of lacking the ability to adapt to new changes and learn from one’s mistakes.

As you can see, to detect and hire talented people is not a simple task but it can actually be quite fun. Following the right tactics, it is possible to not only identify the candidates with the highest potential but also reflect on how to keep the most talented aspirants in your business. As a recruiter, make sure you structure your interview correctly and that all those random looking questions have a clear objective behind of them.

Photo Credit: Miss Captcha Flickr via Compfight cc

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