As one of the leading staffing agencies in Northern California, Pacific Staffing knows that in a job interview, you’re likely going to ask candidates to describe their biggest accomplishments and why they think you should hire them. But are also asking some atypical questions that candidates don’t have a canned answer ready for?

To help you, here are a few questions you’re probably not asking candidates…but should:

1. What industry trends do you see impacting our business? 

This kind of question serves multiple purposes. First and foremost, it shows that the candidate did their homework and has an understanding of what your company does. Secondly, if they deliver a solid answer, it also indicates they know enough about the industry to offer an insightful answer. And finally, a good answer shows that a candidate knows about your company and the industry it operates in, but also that they are aware of existing and upcoming trends…which can improve your competitive advantage.

2. What do you think a good employer offers to its employees? 

This question can help you gauge what a candidate is interested in terms of culture and perks. But it can also give you some insight into what a candidate expects from an employer and whether it’s something you can deliver. For instance, if a candidate believes a good employer offers a flexible schedule and you don’t offer one, then that candidate is not the right fit for you.

3. Tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult person at work?

In any type of work environment, you’re going to have to deal with people who are less than pleasant, whether it’s a client or co-worker. This is a fact of life. But how one candidate diffuses the situation over another can give you some insight into their effectiveness when dealing with people. This is particularly important to ask when hiring someone who will regularly interact with clients or customers.

4. Tell me about a time you took a risk at work.

When it comes to today’s business world, the competition is fierce. And without constant innovation, companies can lose their competitive advantage. That’s why it’s important to always be innovating – and to hire people who can support that effort.

But when a candidate shows they are risk averse, then they may not be able to contribute to the company as much as a candidate willing to take on more risk.

5. Tell me about the most valuable criticism you received. 

This is a variation of the “what are your weaknesses?” and “tell me what your last boss would say about you” kinds of questions. It gives you an indication not only of the areas in which a candidate has needed to improve, but also how they’ve gone about improving in it.

And if you need more help interviewing candidates, give Pacific Staffing a call. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Northern California, we will partner with you to get to know your company and your staffing needs – and then get to work finding and interviewing candidates who are a great fit for you.

Contact us today to learn more.