Job Candidates WANT to be Asked These Questions!

Navigating the intricate landscape of job interviews can be challenging for both candidates and hiring managers. Yoh, a leading staffing provider, conducted a revealing survey highlighting the types of questions job candidates prefer during interviews. This survey, which included 2,084 respondents aged 18 and older, underscores the importance of thoughtful question selection in hiring. Here are the key findings and their implications for recruitment strategies.

Top Preferred Interview Questions

The survey revealed that more than half (54%) of job candidates favored being asked, “What do you think makes you a good candidate for this job?” This question allows candidates to articulate their qualifications and directly connect their skills and experiences to the job role.

Other highly preferred questions included:

  • “What soft skills (e.g., adaptability, conflict resolution, problem-solving) do you possess that would make you a good candidate for this job?” (Chosen by 46%)
  • “What did you like most about your last job?” (Chosen by 45%)
  • “What is an accomplishment (personal or professional) you are proud of and why?” (Chosen by 44%)

The Importance of Positivity and Relevance

Emmett McGrath, president of Yoh, emphasized the need for hiring managers to balance conventional questions with innovative ones that challenge candidates’ creativity and problem-solving skills. The survey highlights three significant themes:

1. Promote Positivity:

Candidates prefer positively framed questions. For example, 45% wanted to discuss what they liked most about their last job, whereas only 27% were interested in discussing their dislikes. This trend was especially prominent among college graduates.

2. Ask About Adversity:

Questions about handling adversity resonated particularly with minority respondents. While 43% of all respondents liked being asked how they handle high-stress situations, this figure rose to 51% among Hispanic respondents, compared to 41% of white, non-Hispanic respondents.

3. Approach Accomplishments Thoughtfully:

Discussing personal or professional achievements was favored by 44% of respondents. Interestingly, this preference was more common among older, more affluent, and better-educated respondents.

Less Popular Questions

Certain questions were notably less popular among respondents:

Needs-Based Questions:

Only 24% of respondents wanted to be asked about their non-negotiables in a job, and just 27% about necessary resources in their next role.

Hypothetical Scenarios:

Only 28% of respondents preferred hypothetical questions such as “If money was no object, what would you choose to do as a career?”

This preference decreased with age, with just 20% of respondents aged 65 and older favoring such questions.

Implications for Hiring Managers

The findings of Yoh’s survey offer valuable insights for hiring managers aiming to refine their interview strategies:

  • Emphasize Positive Framing: Focus on questions highlighting candidates’ strengths and positive experiences.
  • Incorporate Adversity: Include questions that allow candidates to demonstrate their resilience and problem-solving abilities, particularly for roles that require these traits.
  • Tailor Questions to Your Audience: Understand your candidates’ demographic and professional background to develop questions that resonate with them.

In summation, interviews are a pivotal part of the hiring process. Yoh’s survey underscores the need for a balanced approach, combining traditional and innovative questions to engage candidates effectively. By aligning interview questions with candidates’ preferences, hiring managers can foster a more positive and revealing interview experience, ultimately aiding in the successful recruitment of top talent.

Questions Your Candidates Want to Be Asked

According to the survey, 90% of Americans indicated they would like to be asked one, if not more, of the questions below during a job interview:

  1. What do you think makes you a good candidate for this job? – 54%
  2. What soft skills (e.g., adaptability, conflict resolution, problem-solving) do you possess that would make you a good candidate for this job? – 46%
  3. What did you like most about your last job? – 45%
  4. What is an accomplishment (personal or professional) you are proud of and why? – 44%
  5. How do you handle high-stress situations at work? – 43%
  6. What would success in this position mean to you? – 41%
  7. What is the quality of a manager you like best? – 38%
  8. If money was no object, what would you choose to do as a career? – 28%
  9. What did you dislike about your last job? – 27%
  10. What resources do you need to have available in your next job? – 27%
  11. What are your non-negotiables in a job? – 24%
  12. What management style do you dislike the most? – 20%
  13. What is a quality of a manager you dislike? – 19%