The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

July 18, 2017

What you as an Employer should be Seeking from the Question Portion of the Interview


Throughout the interview process, there should be a rhythm of give-and-take. That is, there should be an equal amount of speaking done by both parties in as conversational a manner as possible. It’s been said many times that an interview should not be one-sided. In fact, it is a prospective employee interviewing their future boss, as much as it is a screening conducted by a boss on their potential employee.

Nikki Snell, Associate Recruiter “often candidates don’t put much effort into the question portion of the interview because they know it signals the end and they’re eager for the interview to be over. What they don’t realize is just how heavily employers scrutinize them during this time as it is an opportunity to showcase themselves not as a professional but rather as a person.”

Asking “Do you have any questions for me?” gives your interviewee free-rein to show their personality outside the rigidity of the interview-structure. As an employer, you will be able to gain a lot of insight into the candidate from this portion of the interview but below are some noteworthy highlights.

1. A Genuine Interest in the Role and the Company

The time that precedes the question portion of the interview is where the candidate will do the majority of their shining. Seeing them freely ask questions of you should reflect their enthusiasm in the company and the responsibilities they may take on as a part of your team. Throughout the interview, the candidate would have explained their experience and related it back to the position for which they are applying. During the question portion, however, you want to see a genuine interest being conveyed by the candidate. The candidate should be asking questions in regard to career development and company growth. It should be broached in a way where they not only see themselves as an asset to the company, but you too see their potential.

2. Evidence They Have Done Their Research

The question portion of the interview is pivotal in measuring the preparation the candidate has put in beforehand. The quality of the questions they ask you will evidence just how much research they have done because simple questions that are answered by a mere LinkedIn search, work to show that the candidate failed to do their due diligence. A sharper candidate utilizes the question portion of the interview as a vehicle to leave a lasting impression with their interviewer by getting out whatever they failed to communicate throughout the rest of the interview. In this sense their questions should be masterfully crafted to evidence that they know what they are talking about, they would fit well within your company and have a lot to bring to the table.

3. Personality

Personality is gauged throughout the interview process however the unrestraint and seemingly informal nature of the question portion allows for personality to be conveyed more overtly than before. It’s an opportunity for a candidate to fully let their guard down and engage in more casual repartee with you. In doing so, more of their personality should come out, allowing you to see what could potentially be another addition to the melting pot of characters already present in your office. It’s important to take away a good sense of who they are as a person and as a working professional in order to understand how they may fit into the company culture you already have.

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