The “prep” is a crucial step in the recruitment process. Most candidates do not have the interview experience and expertise that a recruiter utilizes on a daily basis. The “prep” is the basics of helping the candidate understand that the interview process is a sales process. The basis to any sale is asking questions. Finding out what the need is and filling that need. The following are strategic questions that will not only help identify the client’s need but also help the candidate gain a better understanding of the position. Keep in mind this is an outline and the questions need to be tailored to each particular position. Also, the candidate must have his or her own industry specific questions for the interview.

Strategic Questions

  • What qualities and experience are you looking for in the perfect candidate?
  • What do you believe is the biggest challenge in this position?
  • Can you describe what a typical day would be like?
  • What are your expectations for the incumbent in the next 60 to 90 days?

Each answer gives the candidate opportunity to parallel their background. Finding what the needs are and fulfilling them. It also gives the candidate a better understanding of the position.

The examples should always utilize the what, how and outcome format. Well, at ABC Corp I actually have experience with X. Here’s what I did, here’s how I did it and this was the outcome. That format gives validity, not just a simple “yes, I’ve done that before.“

In any sale the ability to close is the key. The same falls true for an interview. Again these questions are only an outline.

Closing Questions

  • How does my experience, personality and skill level compare to other candidates for the position?
  • Do you have any concerns in my ability to take on this position?

An interview can be a one shot situation. Concerns need to be addressed and remedied before the he or she leaves the office. The candidate must be able to overcome any weaknesses in there background in relation to the competition. If there are any concerns now is the time to tackle them. If the answer is “no concerns”, it’s time to close.

“Great, I’m excited and ready to move forward. What’s the next step?” Try to get the second interview cinched before the leaving the interview.