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10 Interview Questions to assess candidate cultural fit and help avoid a "OOPS! HIRE"

The Problem: Cost of a Hire Failure

According to a study by Leadership IQ, almost 46% of newly hired employees fail with 18 months and only 19% achieve a high level of success. And, according to research from CareerBuilder, the cost of hiring the wrong people can be staggering, as much as $25,000 to over $50,000 depending on the size of the company, not to mention possible damage to morale, productivity, customers, etc.

What is most interesting in this study was the fact that only 11% of new hire failures were attributable to lack of proper functional or technical skills, yet, traditionally, that is where companies tend to spend most of their time in the interviewing process. The areas that contribute the most to bad hiring are with issues around motivation and attitude driven by poor alignment with the company’s work environment. A candidate may have the skill necessary to be successful, but do they have the will?

Interview Questions to help assess candidate motivation and attitude

1. What would the perfect company and job look like to you? (listen for clues as to company reputation, leadership, products, size, stage, culture, advancement opportunities, structure, stability, etc. )

2. Tell me about your most satisfying position. Why? (listen for clues about the working environment, their functional responsibilities, teamwork and collaboration, how they were managed, why they were motivated, etc.)

3. Now tell me about your least satisfying position. Why? (listen for the same types of responses)

4. Who was your favorite boss? Why? (listen for clues about how they were managed and motivated, how they responded to coaching or the level at which the manager got involved)

5. Who was your least favorite boss? Why? (listen for same types of responses)

6. What has been your most significant achievement in your career so far? How did you accomplish it? (look for teamwork, cross-functional coordination and collaboration, management support, working style, leadership, risk-taking, energy needed, flexibility and adaptability etc. – are these factors important for success in your company?)

7. What was your most significant failure? Why? (listen for what role low motivation and poor attitude played in that failure)

8. How important is your next company and role in terms of advancing your career path? (can your company provide the kind of advancement opportunities that the candidate expects?)

9. Where does compensation rank as a key motivator for you? (Is your company competitive in compensation and can you meet their expectations)

10. Based on what you know about (company), why do you think you would be motivated to be successful? (this will elicit questions about your company’s culture, so be prepared)

By the end of this interview, you should have a much better idea as to whether or not your company can and will provide the working environment that will support this candidate’s expectations and be able to foster an attitude that will motivate them to succeed.

Since 1999 Group W Partners has been a leading executive search firm, specialized in Payments Recruitment and related Fintech applications.

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