The Most Important Questions I Ask My Candidates

questions I ask my candidates

As a recruiter in the mining and heavy industrial industries, I speak to hundreds of candidates and prospective candidates each week. As I vet them for new job opportunities, these are the four most important questions I ask my candidates to ensure they are a great fit for the position.

Why are you looking?

The answer to this question provides much more information than you may think. It can provide insight into the types of roles and companies that are going to be the best fit for you.

For example, I spoke with an individual today, who answered this question and elaborated on the amount of time they spend traveling. I already know this person is qualified, but it saves us both a great deal of time knowing that a prospective position with similar travel requirements is not their next right step.

We’re looking to help build companies and careers. Knowing why you are looking helps me place you in an organization that you are going to be excited about, and therefore best contribute to. Everybody wins.

Are you willing to relocate?

Some positions have a relocation allowance, others do not. If you are on the market and in an experienced role, companies may be willing to move you and your family. Your next role may very well be in another city.

When considering a move, we have numerous tools at our disposal to help determine the comparisons between locations, such as the cost of living differences. I always provide my candidates with insights on the organization and location to ensure there is a great fit. By walking into the interview with in-depth knowledge of the company and location, it typically impresses the hiring manager. It can really be fun if you’re open-minded; it helps you better visualize what your life will be like in your new home.

What is your current annual salary?

This is the big one. Some candidates don’t have a problem answering this question while others are skeptical to divulge this information. I need to know what you’re currently earning to ensure I can present a fair salary recommendation for you.

It’s a necessary process, and you won’t believe the number of candidates that learn they’re currently underpaid. There are certainly others that are making well over the national average; however, there’s absolutely no way to determine your next step without better understanding your current salary.

How can I reach you?

This final question is big. I try to always deliver news quickly, good or bad. In this candidate-driven market we’re in, things move fast. If I am calling you, I need to be able to reach. The news I have to share with you may significantly impact your future.

I recommend candidates think ahead put plans in place to be available for upcoming interviews. If you’re applying for a job, a fair assumption is that there will be an interview. Make sure you have thought about how you will facilitate that with your current work-life schedule.