Hiring Wisdom: Could You Answer This Job Interview Question?

Illustration by istockphoto.com
Illustration by istockphoto.com

Normally, I limit my interview question advice and experience to what the interviewer should ask, but, today, I have a turnaround…

A client recently prompted me to give some thought to what the most important questions a job applicant should ask might be. Because of all the “miserable-first-day-on-the-job” experiences I’ve heard over the years from those who attend my presentations, I concluded one of the most important questions an applicant should ask would be:

If you decide to offer me this job and I accept, take me through my first days and weeks on the job from A to Z.

Although you may never be asked, as a hiring manager, you need to have the answer.

If you are not satisfied with what your answer would be, then you need to make some changes. A huge percentage of costly, short-term employee turnover is caused by sloppy, unprepared, disorganized on-boarding experiences.

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Also, whenever you do hire a new employee, you need to spell out what will happen during the first days and weeks so your new hire not only understands what you expect, but also that you’re prepared and organized and want to help them succeed.

This was originally published on Mel Kleiman’s Humetrics blog.

Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. He has been the president of Humetrics since 1976 and has over 30 years of practical experience, research, consulting and professional speaking work to his credit. Contact him at mkleiman@humetrics.com.


3 Comments on “Hiring Wisdom: Could You Answer This Job Interview Question?

  1. I think that it is a fair question and a good one to tell candidates to ask to get a better feel for their position. I think being realistic about what to expect can decrease turnover as you say, but also help to build a better relationship with the employee which can lead to increased engagement in the organization. Great post!

  2. This is certainly a great question to ask. Not only is the answer worth knowing, but you are also setting the right expectation for not just the candidate, but for you (the hiring manager) as well. At OpenView, all of our new hires are presented with a 30-60-90 day plan. We understand, however, that it’s also equally  important to set up a 1-7-14 day plan as well. New hires are enthusiastic when they first start, so don’t deflate their level of motivation because you are unorganized and have no plan. This is wonderful advice that I’m ready to share – keep the great posts coming!

  3. This question really pushes the interviewer to ACTUALLY know what is going to happen to the candidate in the first few weeks on the job. Having both been an employee and an external consultant, I can say that not many interviewers know what the candidate is in for. A simple example is the time taken for the new employee’s laptop to be ready. Sometimes it can take 5 days!

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