7 must-ask questions when hiring senior employees

HR Insight

When hiring senior employees, what matters is not how many questions you ask, but what you ask.

Behavioral questions. Brainteaser questions. Skills-based questions. Open-ended questions. Hypothetical questions. The list goes on, and on, and on.

Have you ever been confused by so many types of interview questions out there?

Hiring senior employees is already a gut-wrenching process. So we’re here to help you keep things simple!

Ask these 7 interview questions when hiring senior employees to find your best fits:

What are your greatest professional strengths?

While you need to crystal clear about their competencies to ensure they’re the best fit, the CV bullet points can’t tell the whole story (also not always reliable!)

So, dig deeper by asking about their excellence. A good answer will focus on 2 or 3 top skills and back them up with concrete examples. See if they’re confident to sell themselves. Then evaluate how their professional savvy can benefit your organization.

How do you handle conflicts in the workplace?

Conflict is inevitable. Sooner or later, they’ll face some kinds of workplace conflicts.

Some people are natural-born competitors who take a firm stance to push their views. Some prefer a middle ground. The others might try to sidestep and beat around the bush. And there are people who can flexibly switch between conflict resolution styles.

Which approaches are you looking for?

Their answers will give you insights on their interpersonal skills, how well they listen to the others and negotiate for the positive outcomes. If you’re hiring a C-suite or leadership position, this question also offers a few glimpses of their management styles.

How do you define hard work?

Each company has a unique work pace. A fast-growing startup can approve and implement a new plan within a week. But at large firms, it’s might take longer to go through all the procedures.

Also, some candidates prioritize a healthy work-life balance, some are workaholic.

Our tip? Don’t skip this question. It’s a great way to learn about their previous work pace and productivity. Then you can consider if your newcomers can adapt and coordinate with the whole team at the same pace.  

How do you evaluate your success?

For senior employees, there’re not many competent people to check up on their performance. Plus, these people are not always there to follow up.

That means, to ensure a stable high-performance, you need to look for someone who always looks at their works with a critical eye.

By asking about performance assessment, you’ll see if they continue searching for new initiatives and pursuing higher quality. Or just let everything goes in the same old way.

Describe the biggest decision you’ve made in your career.

When recruiting senior employees, make sure you ask about their decision-making process. We’re all need to make decisions at work. And with senior executives, their decisions have considerable impacts on the outcomes, and probably the bottom line, too.

Do they study each solution or trust their gut instincts? Do they decide on their own or talk it through with someone? Do they have a plan or they just-do-it?

Are they the decision-maker that fit your company? 

How do you understand our culture?

The concept of “culture fit” is incredibly notable these days - and there’s a reason. It plays an important role in employee engagement, staff retention, satisfaction, and productivity at work.

Plus, 94% of executives and 88% of employees state that specific work culture is critical to corporate achievements, a Deloitte study found.

So? Whether you’re hiring a senior executive or entry-level staff, culture fit matters. This question investigates how the candidate perceives your workplace, values, and missions. Then reveal if they’re comfortable and able to integrate with your culture.

Do you have any questions for us?

So classic!

Whatever positions you’re interviewing for, this question still works. First, it let the candidates dig deeper into any points that you didn’t cover earlier. Next, it shows how well did they research you and your positions. Lastly, you can learn about their interests.

If they don’t curious about anything, or just use empty questions to fill the gap, that’s one of the red flags that you should watch for!

Hiring senior employees is tricky…

Even if you’re a Hiring Manager or a member of the Talent Acquisition team. Hopefully, our interview questions above can help you shorten your quest and spot the best of best. If you need further assistance with the recruitment and workforce management, we’re here to offer you customized and exclusive HR solutions.
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