The Best Questions to Ask Candidates in the Final Round of Interviews
As we guide our clients through the recruitment process, they often ask our opinions on which questions are the most revealing in the final round of interviews. And understandably so, since this is the last chance to ask pivotal questions that will ultimately help them decide on their perfect candidate.
So, what should employers ask in the final round of interviews to ensure that they cover all their bases? In this article, we share our best recommendations.
Presumably, the hiring team should already have a solid grasp of each candidate’s skills and experience at this stage of the process.
However, if there are outstanding questions regarding what a candidate shared in prior interviews, use the final round to revisit topics that need clarification. For instance, the interviewer may already know that a candidate has experience supervising a large team, but now would be the time to ask if they want to know the exact number and support system they had.
Again, this may be the last opportunity to clear up any uncertainty or dig further on a topic before making a final decision.
Discuss Strengths and Weaknesses
It can be beneficial to take a straightforward but courteous approach to pointing out a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. Start by reiterating what qualities and skills the candidate possesses that piqued the hiring team’s interest in the first place.
Then, politely let the candidate know any areas that the hiring team doesn’t view as being strong. Have a discussion with the candidate about them, gaining any insight on how they would compensate and how they can develop, improve, or grow in those areas. Consider if offering professional development opportunities such as classes or workshops would be helpful.
Now is the chance to ensure that the finalists fully understand the scope of the role. Of course, with an important topic such as this, including relevant stakeholders (i.e., CEO, Board Members, or immediate supervisor) in the discussion is crucial.
Convey specific short- and long-term goals of the position and organization. How demanding is the job? How is the work environment? If the company is a start-up or small business, relay the need to have someone who can roll with the punches. Likewise, with a large organization, make sure they are comfortable with a structured environment and a certain degree of red tape.
Honesty is still the best policy. The goal is to make sure that the potential new hires know exactly what they would be signing up for before accepting an offer.
Evaluate Cultural Fit
Since by this point it has been determined that the candidate’s skills fit the job, the final interview is an excellent opportunity to gauge how they will fit into the organization. Not only is it important to ensure that the candidate will be happy in the role, but that they would fit in with the company and with their new team. Here are some questions to help assess cultural fit:
• What is your personal mission statement?
• What kind of personality type do you work best with and why?
• In what type of work environment do you feel most productive?
• How would you best describe your leadership style?
• What do you like to do for fun?
Ask Behavioral Questions
Some employers also like to ask behavioral interview questions during the final round to guarantee that their new hire will “play well with others” and be a good match with their potential team members. Below are a few examples of behavioral interview questions:
• Can you describe a time when you were criticized? What was the outcome?
• Have you ever been on a team where someone was not pulling their weight? How did you handle it?
• If your immediate supervisor asked you to do something you disagreed with, what would you do?
• How do you keep your team engaged and motivated?
Discuss Salary and Benefits
If it has not already been addressed, discuss if the salary range for the position is in line with what the candidate has in mind. Using the final round of interviews to discuss salary and benefits can provide better context when creating an official offer, saving time in the negotiation process for both parties. Keep in mind that employers in some states are not permitted to ask about salary history unless the candidate voluntarily discloses it, so tread lightly when opening the conversation.
The final interview is the last real opportunity to evaluate each candidate, set clear expectations for the role, and make a great impression. We hope that by using these final interview tips, companies can select, hire, and retain the right candidates for their organizations.
Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with over 50 years of excellence in recruiting nationwide. Bristol specializes in recruiting for the Casino Gaming; CBD; Facilities and Concessions; Food and Beverage Manufacturing; Hospital and Healthcare; Hotels and Resorts; Nonprofit; Restaurant; and Travel, Tourism, and Attractions industries.
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