We’ve been experiencing a talent-driven labor market for the latter part of the past decade and counting. Not only are the unemployment numbers at historical lows (4.2 percent), but for accounting, finance and information technology professionals they’re even lower.
It’s fair to say that hiring managers looking to hire individuals for their teams are having to choose from a competitive pool. In fact, candidates who once might have taken any position they could get are now weighing their options and making decisions about their careers at a slower, more calculated pace.
As a result, hiring managers are being urged to be more diligent in their role when it comes to the hiring process – especially during interviews. The candidates getting vetted expect to be just as pleased with the information given to them as the interviewer.
Therefore, it’s important for hiring managers to know how to properly answer challenging questions from the interviewee. I thought it was important to share with you 5 Responses to Tough Candidate Questions Asked During Interviews. Take a look below.
1. What is the turnover rate at your company?
Just like any industry, sometimes turnover is inevitable – and that’s important to explain to the candidate. A great way to continue your answer is to explain how your team mitigates turnover. You can describe the level of transparency throughout the company’s hiring process so that there’s no confusion before accepting an offer. It may also be helpful to describe the culture of your company while emphasizing the qualities that the company values most; such as respect, teamwork and integrity. Lastly, if your turnover rate is high or problematic, do not mislead the candidate. Be honest and explain the steps you are taking to lower the turnover and share how the candidate can help lead the changes when they come on board.
2. Tell me what sets you apart from your competitors?
Candidates know what they want in a company and aren’t afraid to ask the direct questions that get answers. This question gives you the opportunity to explain how much accounting, finance and information technology professionals are valued. This will likely tie into the vision, mission and values of the company, as well. Typically the ethics aspect and business approach is what sets a company apart from others.
3. What don’t you like about working for your company?
Similar to asking a candidate to talk about their weaknesses, many hiring managers may answer this question with a vague answer. However, candidates can see through sugar-coated responses. It’s important to be honest with all questions that the candidate asks you – even when it’s something that you might not want to answer. Give an example of something you feel could be improved such the timing of your month-end close or how your systems need to be updated. Remember to be honest and specific.
4. Do you see any reason I might not be a good fit for this position?
Transparency is key when answering any questions from the interviewee. Even when the questions become touchy, you should still be honest, and even critical, without being insulting. Start by mentioning positive qualities that the candidate possesses and point out specific responses they gave during the interview. This allows you to ease into explaining what experience or qualities they may be lacking. Give them examples on how to improve or gain more expertise. Many candidates use interviews as a learning experience. By adequately answering this question for them, you will show that you were listening and understand the importance of their professional growth.
5. Will you follow up one way or another?
Believe it or not, the post-interview call or message is very important to a candidate. Whether it’s good or bad news, they wait on this outreach and expect to receive information promptly. Keeping in touch with a candidate isn’t an option – it’s a necessity. Be sure to explain the standard procedure of your post-interview process, and be as direct as you can on what they can expect. Even so, be sure to follow up with an email or phone call to let them know whether or not they’re still being considered for the role. If this become too time consuming, at the very least have a colleague or member of the office staff call or send an email on your behalf.
What are some other tough questions and responses for hiring managers to keep in mind during interviews? Comment below and let us know!