[2 of 3 – Continued from Part 1]
6) How did you handle a previous disagreement with a team member?
Teams must be able to work together, and that sometimes means working through a disagreement. Ask your candidates how they have handled team disagreements in the past. Let them frame a story and their actions as a result. The way this story plays out will tell you not only about their problem-solving and diplomatic skills, but also how they view workplace situations involving a team and where they place themselves in the story.
Consider a follow-up question on how they might handle a future disagreement, or the same situation again, differently with a new perspective or different tools.
7) What do you think you can contribute to the company?
Hiring should be about finding someone who improves and enriches your team, not just filling a few on-team skill requirements. Candidates may be eager to tell you what they have to bring to the table – this is a question that many candidates know to prepare for – while others may not know how to answer.
Both are useful responses. On one side, you will find candidates who have a plan on how they would like to contribute, or ideas on what they might bring to the team. On the other, you discover people who are cautious and want to know more before confidently pitching a value proposition.
8) What are your expectations regarding salary?
The salary question has evolved a great deal over the years. Offers should no longer be based on what a candidate has made in the past and instead focus only on what they need or expect to make right now. Asking this question early in the hiring process (the first or second interview) allows both candidates and employers to determine if the offer will be enough to pay the candidate’s bills – or if a candidate is seriously underselling themselves.
An honest response on your part can be very helpful to both parties as well. Sharing your offer range in the job description and/or letting a candidate know if their ask is within your range will either politely stop negotiations or spur them onward with enthusiasm. It is also polite to provide your potential range (early!) so that candidates can select jobs that pay what they need and so eager candidates might adapt their ask to your needs if you happen to have an opening for their dream job.
9) Would you prefer a fully remote, hybrid, or in-office position?
In the modern workforce, always ask about on-site expectations. Some candidates are now 100% remote for a variety of reasons. Some love to come into the office. Some enjoy a team meeting twice a month, or want to come in a few times a week. You and they need to know if your on-site workflows will combine smoothly, or if they are willing to adapt to the on/off site needs of the job.
10) What is your ideal work environment?
If an employee is coming into the office, make sure to ask them about their ideal work environment. Do they need quiet and privacy, or do they enjoy the soft hubbub of an open-plan office? Do they need a window where they can see trees, or would they be coziest in an inner space with screens for decor? Everyone is unique, and you might just find the perfect match for your current work environment – or preferences that are easily and enjoyably accommodated.
11) How would you manage the role’s responsibilities with an approaching deadline?
Deadlines: we all have them eventually, and everyone responds to deadlines a little differently. Some people pull an all-nighter. Some will rally the team. Some will explain how they organize their time into chunks up to the wire, or what they would drop if they absolutely had to drop something.
These answers are more than useful when assessing how a candidate might perform when their team faces a deadline or other high-stress situation in the future.
[2 of 3 – Continued in Part 3]