Are You Searching for the RIGHT Talent and Expertise?

Questions to Ask Candidates When Evaluating Talent and Expertise

  • Tell me about the pace that you work at during the day. Are you a moderate, fast paced or hair-on-fire type of person?

The way a candidate answers this question will give you a good sense of who they are and how they would fit into your company. The pace of every company is different and someone who works with their hair-on-fire is really going to struggle working in a company that functions at a moderate pace.  Candidates that work at a moderate pace certainly do not want to work for a company that is very fast paced, which means they would be walking into an environment where they would probably fail.  When you ask this question, make sure the candidate answers with how they actually like to work – not what their current or previous company culture was like.  This will ensure they actually match your company’s work pace.

  • Do you have any questions about the job or the company?

If a candidate does not come prepared with questions about the company, it is typically not a good sign because they most likely have not done any research. These candidates are generally just looking for a job, not a career. These individuals are going to be the ones who walk out of the door right at 5 every day.  A good candidate is going to come to the interview fully prepared, which means they have looked over all of the information in regards to who you are and what your company is all about.  You also want a candidate who has thoroughly reviewed the job description and who has listened to all of the details of the position when you have been interviewing them.  This is also going to show you that they are a team player and are truly interested in the job you have to offer.

  • What 2 or 3 things will be most important to you in your new role and why?

You’ll be able to evaluate what the candidate is looking for in order to feel successful in their new role and what their priorities are. You may also be able to discover what their pet peeves are.  When they answer this question, you are going to know if you will be able to provide the right fit on behalf of both the candidate and the company.

  • Tell me about a time you failed. How did you fix it?

Asking this question will enable you to see if the candidate is a team player and/or a problem solver. It will also shed light on how they communicate and how they process information.  Did they try to fix the problem on their own or did they run to a manager to fix the issue?  You can also see if they learned from failing or if the issue continued to repeat itself.  All in all, this specific question will permit you to see the way in which they communicate and speak about a situation that did not go in their favor.


Editor: Monica Ross, Vaco Louisville, LLC

McCord, K. Thurs., 23, June 2016. “Are You Searching for the RIGHT Talent and Expertise?” LinkedIn. Retrieved from