Four Questions to Always Ask Your Candidate

Here are the four questions Terry Petra suggests you ask every candidate. The questions originally appeared in a longer article in the January 2013 issue of The Fordyce Letter subscriber newsletter.

It is imperative for you to quickly identify with the recruit any and all potential motivations they may have for a possible job change. This can best be accomplished by asking certain questions. The answers will quickly establish a realistic frame of reference between the two of you, and serve as a foundation for your relationship.

Once a directed dialogue has been established and you are discussing the recruit’s possible motivations for change, consider framing the subject with the following questions:

(Recruit’s name), based on what you have already shared with me, it appears as if you will need to answer two primary questions before proceeding. First, is now the time in your career where it is in your best interest to seriously consider making a job change?

If the answer to the question is ‘yes,’ then, the second question is:

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What specific criteria should you be using to evaluate which opportunity is best for you? At this point in our relationship, my primary responsibility is to help you answer these questions. Does that seem like a reasonable approach?

Before proceeding, it is imperative that you gain a positive response from the recruit. You have just posed two very important questions and the recruit may need a moment to consider their ramifications. Once you receive their positive response and/or address any points of concern, continue in a manner similar to the following:

Let’s begin by taking a closer look at the first question. Perhaps the best way for you to determine if now is the time in your career where you should seriously consider the possibility of a job change is to ask yourself a couple questions most frequently posed by professional career counselors:

  • Are you still being challenged, rewarded and satisfied by your work?
  • Are you still growing, learning and developing as a professional?

Work through these questions very carefully. Do not rush this process. Help the recruit explore his or her feelings regarding each point on an in-depth basis. Chances are pretty good they have never been through a process of this nature and will find it very beneficial.

Recipient of the Harold B. Nelson Award, Terry Petra is one of our industry's leading trainers and consultants. He has successfully conducted in-house programs for hundreds of search, placement, temporary staffing firms and industry groups across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, England, and South Africa. To learn more about his training products and services, including PETRA ON CALL, and BUSINESS VALUATION, visit Terry can be reached at (651) 738-8561 or click to email him.