The job landscape has changed drastically over the last few years because of COVID-19, and your questions should reflect that.
Here's what you need to know:
- Ask the candidate about their work/life balance philosophy to let them know you value both
- Ask the candidate about their preferred work location so you know how they will fit in your culture
- Ask the candidate some values-based questions about what they prefer out of leadership
When interviewing a candidate for a role, you’re making sure they’re a good fit in a few ways. Your interview questions should ensure they’re a cultural fit, they will mesh well with the team, and they have the required skills.
The job landscape has changed drastically over the last few years because of Covid-19, and your questions (and the interview itself) should reflect that. Aside from the basic questions about their experience, your questions should cover:
- Remote work
- Flexible work arrangements
Before jumping into your interview, first prepare your questions based on the role and have a structure for your interview. Structured interviews tend to perform better at predicting performance by 26%! Keep reading. In this article, we list interview questions you should be asking in 2022.
Question 1: Learn about their work/life balance philosophy
Sure, you want your staff to be committed to their job, but you also want to make sure they don’t burn themselves out and become non-productive. With that in mind, here’s your first question:
“What has the pandemic taught you about balancing work and personal time?”
This question is more timely than ever since the Covid-19 pandemic began. People’s values have changed. According to LinkedIn’s 2022 Global Talent Trends report, 63% of people say their top priority is work-life balance when looking for a new job.
This question will give you an idea of how your candidate would like to manage this balance. It will also tell you how well you align on schedule and working hours. Finally, it sends the message that you understand your people have lives outside of work. This is particularly important for parents who are now in a position to need to balance both working and helping their children with online learning.
Question 2: Find out about their work location preference
Over the past several years, people have become used to working from a remote location. Some individuals are looking forward to getting back into a traditional office setting, while others have found they prefer the quiet of their remote location. To get more information, ask this next question:
“What type of work arrangement/flexibility are you seeking?” (This applies to both schedule and location.)
Long gone are the days of your workers being tethered to their desks. Employees value flexibility and having more control over their time and work location. For this reason, you’ll want to get an idea of what type of flexibility your candidate is looking for:
- Maybe they prefer to work early and end early, but that might not work for the position.
- Or maybe because of childcare responsibilities, they absolutely need to work from home to help their children with online learning.
Either way, you need to know and be prepared for the type of balance they require with both their schedule and working location.
Question 3: Learn about their self-awareness
It’s always interesting to get a feel for how individuals view themselves. This question will give you a feel for that.
“How would your colleagues describe you?”
This question allows you to understand how your candidate thinks they’re perceived by fellow colleagues. Listen to the first words they list:
- Are they a team-player and prefer collaboration?
- Are they more on the quiet side and prefer to work independently?
There’s actually no “wrong” answer here; it all depends on what the role requires. For example, a developer who will be joining a large ongoing project might need to be more extroverted than a financial controller who will be working mostly alone.
What’s your biggest 2022 HR challenge that you’d like to resolve
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Question 4: Learn about their values
It’s important to make sure the values of your candidate align with the values of your organization. This next question will provide you with some valuable insight.
“Tell me about your best boss’ characteristics. What did you like and dislike?”
This one is straight out of the Warren Buffet playbook.
When looking for a candidate, Buffet says the most important trait is integrity: “This question is important because every person of integrity will attract a culture that reflects his or her virtues or values, or mirror a leader he or she trusts or looks up to. And every high-trust culture of integrity will demand the same in its future employees.”
Put simply, you want your candidates to value the very traits you’re looking for. Integrity, honestly, and respect should rank high on your list of sought-after characteristics.
Question 5: Learn about how well they will communicate
You want to make sure you find team members who fit with the culture’s expectations regarding communication. Whether that be:
This next question will help you get to the root of the answer you are seeking.
“Tell me about your experiences with communication while working remotely. What works and what doesn’t?”
This question from LinkedIn explores if your candidate is ready to work remotely, either part-time or full-time. This question is important for companies who are still embracing a remote environment and understand that employees do not want to be forced to return to the office full-time. One study found that a third of employees would quit their job if they did not have a remote option after the pandemic.
Asking your candidate about communication is important if they are working as part of a hybrid team. It ensures they have adapted to our new pandemic reality where many workers are dispersed and remote. It also sends the message that your company values communication, regardless of working location.
Question 6: Learn more about communication and workstyle
This final question will provide you with insight as to how this candidate communicates what they need in their environment and how they handle stress in the workplace.
“Tell me about a time you’ve felt burned out at work.”
Again from LinkedIn, this question has never been more relevant. People are feeling stress and burnout: 44% of employees said they were more burned out in 2021 compared to 2020. By asking this question, you’re making it clear that you value your worker’s well-being. It also provides your candidate an opportunity to share moments of stress and anxiety they experienced in the past.
Showing empathy is important as an employer. Employees who feel cared for are 3.2 times more likely to be happy at work. Moreover, 92% of employees said they would be more likely to stay if their managers were more empathetic.
It’s important to remember that while you’re interviewing the candidate, they’re also interviewing you. This is especially relevant in fields with labor shortages.
Are you using any new interview questions in 2022? Let us know your favorite ones!