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What are the best Questions to ask a Potential Employer in a job Interview?

By | Blog, Interview, Job | No Comments

 

The interview is not only the employer’s chance to meet the candidate but also for the candidate to know more about the company he is looking work for.

In order to get a good understanding of the interview and know exactly what to expect from it, there are a few questions that could shed some light:

  1.    What are the prospects for career development at this company?

Besides the salary package, you want to know what’s the best way you can advance in this position you are applying for. Some companies have formal programs to help employees develop their careers. When you ask about that, it will help you make a good impression, as you showcase that you are forward-looking and not only focused on the immediate. Great companies will be interested in helping you grow, something that will contribute to the entire organization’s growth as well. However, you must also be careful as career advancement, in this case, could jeopardize the interviewer’s position if it happens they are the hiring manager. Oops!

  1.       What are the biggest challenges for this position?

Be curious and prepared. Any information you can have in advance about the job will enable you to think of potential challenges you might have and whether you want to tackle a job like this. There will definitely be others along the way, but the sooner you know what to expect, the better prepared you can be. By the same token, the challenges you might face could be critical to your success on the job. It is key that you know them before you start working so you can think proactively how to tackle them.

  1.       How would you describe this company’s values?

Working for an organization that doesn’t share the similar values to yours might cause a lot of friction. Why is it important to know the company values? Imagine yourself working for a company that doesn’t value contribution and ideas from its employees, but you are a creative person who can bring to the table a lot of ideas and availability to implement them. Inevitably, you will end up feeling frustrated not being able to voice your thoughts. Some values you could also think of: honesty, win-win mentality geared towards the client, caring for employees, impact to communities/social responsibility, etc.

  1.       What are the company’s plans for growth?

A company that doesn’t have plans to grow is a place where your own chances to grow drop. Employees at all levels need to be aligned with their companies’ larger goals and its vision. Anything less and that would pull the company and its staff in totally different directions. Ask for an explanation of the vision, and mid-long term goals of the company (some of these will be available on the website). Great companies will have a clear red thread between their reason to exist (vision) and their development strategy. This means that they care about everything in between, and that includes you! Your growth and development plan need to be a priority.

   5.       Who are the people in the team or outside the team that I’ll be working with?

This is a question that will probe the recruiter or hiring manager’s understanding of the role. A well thought out recruiting process takes into account all the moving pieces that will ensure the success of the right person to take that role. It will give you an idea about whether this is a role that contributes to the success of a specific team or has more of a floating role based on expertise that’s useful in various project teams. It might give you an idea about the kind of manager that you’ll have too.

  

Think ahead. The more you know about a position and the company you will be working for, the easier it will be for you to be in the right place. At SourceMatch we believe that the best candidates don’t accidentally land in the right roles. It takes concerted efforts to achieve the right fit that everyone can win from.

 

Photo credit: Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Is it more Important for a Company to hire Based on Skill set fit or Based on Cultural fit?

By | Blog, Recruiting | No Comments

 

Of course, no one feels comfortable having to choose between the two. And yet, we don’t live in a perfect world and candidates bring different things to the interview table.

To even start thinking this topic through, it’s important we understand what a skill set is and what makes up the cultural fit.

Are skill sets important?

A skill set is a particular category of skills or abilities necessary to perform a job. Skill sets are easy to showcase based on previous jobs, numbers, achievements or in other words quantifiable facts. A good recruiter would have no problem to assess these looking at a resume, through interviews or tests.
So why even have any debates when a candidate can fit the job from a skills point of view?
After all, they will require less hand-holding, less training, and a shorter ramp-up period in the new job. They are people that hold a certain level of expertise that can just be plugged into an organization and bring immediate results.

What about culture fit?

It’s very tempting for recruiters who spend merely seconds to pick and choose what candidates will make it forward in the selections process. Candidates have complex personalities and unique combinations of upbringing and experiences.
When searching for new hires, hiring managers and recruiters want to ensure that the person who’ll join the organization will have preferences, personal and work styles that aren’t far from the hiring organization’s culture. Organizational psychology guru Adrian Furnham offers a definition for the cultural fit in his seminal academic textbook, “The Psychology of Behaviour at Work”: “A fit is where there is congruence between the norms and values of the organization and those of the person.”
Asking candidate’s questions such as the following will help you uncover their, likes, dislikes and expectations:

 -> Why do you want to work here?
 -> How would you describe your ideal workplace?
 -> What makes the work environment frustrating to you?
 -> Do you prefer working in a team or alone/as a sole contributor?
 -> Who was your best boss and what made them so great?

It’s critical however you take these questions and customize them to help you compare with your organization’s culture. Some companies are more loose when it comes to time and make results the sole main requirement, some are very eclectic and laid back wanting to foster creativity and outside-the-box thinking, and some that are very formal such as banks and other financial institutions.
If he/she is a fit, then they will feel good working for the company’s goals. The importance of cultural fit will reflect in the employee’s productivity. They will also be interested in the results they bring.

So what now?

You do need people to bring the right skills to the table to fulfill their jobs, and you also want a great alignment between the person’s and the organization’s values. However, as mentioned we don’t live in a perfect work: What if you had to choose between the skill set and culture alignment?
Culture always comes first.

Culture is the glue that holds an organization together, and the cost of poor culture fit can cost that organization between 50% to 60% of the person’s annual salary. So before you start vetting candidates, it’s critical that you define and articulate the organization’s culture (values, goals, practices, etc.). Only then will the recruiting process highlight the best candidates according that fit the culture.
Everything considered, culture fit should never be at the expense of different personalities, backgrounds, and a diverse workforce.

However, you do need to prioritize. First, make sure the values, ethics, morals, principles, etc. are there. Otherwise, you may find yourself hiring someone who has outstanding skills with a poor cultural fit. They will challenge your organization’s existence at every step of the way, either silently, or vocally. Sometimes it’s useful to have a new and constructive perspective on things. But if you have a culture that has proven time and time again to be beneficial for the organization’s development, for its employees and not the least its customers, then you should stick to it. Someone new who will not integrate with the team and organization will only cause unnecessary friction.

Lastly, in order to decrease the probability that you need to be in such a tough situation to choose between skill set and culture, hire continuously. Always be on the lookout for people who are shining in their current roles, who are delivering value to their customers and enjoy being part of something greater than themselves and their jobs.

 

Photo credit: Photo by Hunters Race on Unsplash