Finding and vetting talent has changed a ton in the past several years as Millennials have become a major part of the work force. Many employers are so focused on finding a good fit for them, they miss the fact that their interview questions should be designed in a way to help both the recruiter and the candidate weed each other out at each step of the process when a mutually beneficial relationship isn't found.
The biggest mistake I see companies make during interviews is jumping straight into questions about what the candidate will be doing. In reality the first question--in fact, the whole first interview--should be about culture. If somebody is a cultural fit and a tactical fit (i.e., they can do the job), there is a much higher probability of success.
Here are some of the questions we ask to help both the candidate and recruiter vet for mutual cultural fit.
1. What are your dreams and aspirations for your life? Paint the clearest picture you can for me.
You want to understand if they even have specific dreams and aspirations, and then understand if this position helps them in some way get closer to achieving them.
2. When the going gets tough and you ask yourself, "Why am I doing this?" what is your answer going to be?
This is huge. You aren't going to be there all the time to be their cheerleader. You as a leader have the responsibility to your team to make sure that all new hires know their motivation and why they'll be there for their peers.
3. How have you been the creator of your world and not the victim of your circumstances?
Everybody has things that happen to them they can't control; this question allows you to learn how they've reacted to them. Did they blame somebody else or did they rise to the occasion (maybe overcoming huge odds) to achieve a goal?
4. What would your last boss say is your most exceptional quality?
Do they understand the biggest strengths that they bring to the table? Do they match what you need at this time?
5. How does this job get you to the next step of where you want to go?
If there isn't a clear answer to this, do not hire the candidate. You want this person to view this position as a mission that gets them to the next step of their career (either at your company or elsewhere) so they are independently motivated to get things done.
6. [During later interview rounds] Explain to me why somebody should join this company and take this specific job.
This allows you to weed out people who are just doing a bunch of interviews from people who really know the company/position and want the job.
7. Tell me of a time when you overcame an obstacle or achieved a goal at a scale that you think most of your peers would have said was impossible.
You want people who have already done big things in their lives. Getting somebody in their 20s who has never pushed themselves outside of their comfort zone means that when you push them outside of it, they are most likely going to crumble.
8. How are you specifically going to add to our culture and make other people here better?
You want somebody who is thinking about how they are going to better the culture and understands how they can fit in.