Staffing Resources

Interview Question that Let You Know if a Candidate Has Growth Potential

January 31st, 2014

When it comes to hiring new employees, it’s expected that the recruiter will have a long list of interview questions to ask. However, if that list of questions fails to determine whether or not the candidate will have the potential to grow within the position or with the company – it can be a total waste of time. Therefore, it’s critical to your business success that you ask the right interview questions to determine if a candidate has what it takes to become a valuable, long-term member of your team and is the best fit for the job.

We have compiled a list of questions that will help you figure out if a new hire has potential for growth or not.

Where does the candidate envision the company in five years?

This is an excellent question to ask your candidate. Find out what their vision of the future is for themselves, the company, and themselves at the company. This is taking the age-old question of ‘where do you see yourself in five years’ to the next level. Not every candidate will be able to answer this question, especially if they do not know too much about the company.

What is the candidate’s dream job?

You can ask this question of the candidate, but be ready to receive an answer that might not be satisfactory in your mind. Some candidates might answer with something they have loved for their entire lifetime, saying that this position is just a holdover until they can move further in their career. Others might name a position that is in your company, but not what they are applying for at the time.

Is the candidate someone who can adapt well?

This is a question that should always be asked of candidates who are interviewing for a new job. You can take it one step further and ask the candidate if they can provide an example from a previous job of how they were able to adapt to a situation, whether good or bad. Have the candidate explain in detail how he or she handled the situation and adapted to the changes made by the scenario. You will be able to learn a lot about the candidate from the answer to this question.

What are the candidate’s short and long-term earnings goals?

This question can piggyback off the previous question because it may throw the candidate off of his or her game. You will be able to see how well the candidate adapts with a situation thrown at him without notice. You will also figure out how dedicated the candidate will be to the company. If they provide an answer that shows they do not worry about compensation, it means that they are in it for the long-haul and want to grow with the company. If they give you an answer that they need a specific salary in say 1-2 years and your company cannot offer this, it’s better to be honest now then deal with a disgruntled employee later on.

Can or has the candidate been successful alone?

Figure out if a candidate has the ability to work by themselves by asking this question. Ask them if they have ever successfully completed a project on their own and if so, how they accomplished this feat. The candidate’s answer can indicate to you if they are future management material or if they are a follower and need constant direction. Leaders are hard to find, so you will want to hire on as many as possible for long-term business success.

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