As you ramp up hiring efforts, it can be daunting to narrow down a pool of potential candidates if you aren't quite sure whether they're truly a fit for the role. Luckily, all it takes is a few strategic questions to help you quickly tell who's in and who's out.
Ten entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) share the questions they'll be asking potential new hires in 2016.
1. Why does this job stand out amongst other opportunities you're considering?
At the end of the day, there are many factors that go into hiring someone, but for our new hires, we want to hear about their passion for our mission. If they haven't taken the time to think about why they actually want to work for us beyond the job description itself, they are not going to be a good fit.--Joshua Dorkin, BiggerPockets
2. What's the last thing you taught yourself to do?
This question is one of my favorites. I borrowed it from Influence & Co. co-founder Kelsey Meyer, and it's become an amazing question for finding good hires. You can quickly determine how much a potential employee loves to learn, and also learn a bit about their hobbies and interests outside of work. A great follow-up is to ask the candidate to teach you something new in under five minutes.--Brittany Hodak, ZinePak
3. Do you follow our mission?
LexION Capital was built from the ground up to follow a specific mission, and that could deteriorate if the team thinks otherwise. I've found that skill sets can be easily learned with the right hire, but motivation and drive usually don't change. Look for employees who are passionate about your mission, and you'll see your team elevate to the next level.--Elle Kaplan, LexION Capital
4. If you were given a task and you did not know how to proceed, what would you do?
The most common answer is "ask my supervisor;" however, I am looking for those potential new hires who will go one step further and will research on their own, too. Knowledge is power and we live in a world where information is one click away. I want to work and learn from those who can maximize their potential and provide solutions efficiently, using the tools they are provided with.--Henry Balanon, Stratos, Inc
5. What impact do you want to make at the next stage of your career?
We've interviewed thousands of executives for leadership positions at Y Scouts. The question we ask that usually gives us the most insight into what drives a candidate is, "What impact do you want to make at the next stage of your career?" You're spending two-thirds of your life working. If a candidate is not thinking about their own impact on the world and their life, it's a huge red flag.--Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
6. How do you define success?
Long-term vision is one of the most important things for entrepreneurs, young innovators and hustlers to possess. Asking new hires what success in one year looks like gives me an idea of what elements of their personal and professional life they want to focus and improve upon. I want insight into what potential employees value and what their overall goals for themselves and my company are.--Hank Ostholthoff, Mabbly
7. What is one new thing that you are eager to learn?
The times in which we are living and working have spurred a flow of never-ending change in technology and trends. When hiring a new employee, you need to assure yourself that you will be hiring someone for your team who not only has the ability and the desire to keep up and stay ahead of with new advances, but will also continue to bring value to your company both now and in the future.--David Tomas, Cyberclick
8. Why do you work in your field?
For an entrepreneurial company, I like to know what motivates people to work in their current field. Do they love the day-to-day tasks? Did they simply want a high-paying job? Were they looking for a position where they would learn new things daily? Knowing why they work in the field they do can help me see if they would be a good fit for the entrepreneurial culture and our particular business.--Chuck Cohn, Varsity Tutors
9. Why shouldn't I hire you?
This question works well because it forces the candidate to reveal their true energy, integrity and intelligence, which provides a genuine view of their personality. It also forces people to try and disqualify themselves from the position, which takes them out of the typical mindset of highlighting their attributes. This question can help validate that the candidate is indeed being transparent.--Anthony Pezzotti, Elevated Media Inc.
10. How can you help improve the bottom line?
I'll be asking every candidate how he or she plans on assisting the company to improve its bottom line. More than academic pedigree, we are looking for lateral thinkers who can develop creative solutions to bolster our current initiatives. Someone who is inherently innovative and can be counted on for the delivery of creative solutions is invaluable.--Luigi Wewege, Vivier Group