Hiring Wisdom: There Are Only 2 Real Questions When You Hire

Illustration by istockphoto.com
Illustration by istockphoto.com

In the employee selection process, there are only two questions that need to be answered:

  1. Are you the right person for the job?
  2. Is the job right for you?

To answer those two questions, we need to ask only four questions:

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  1. Can you do this job?
  2. Will you like doing this job and do it well?
  3. Will you like working with us?
  4. Will we like working with you?

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.


5 Comments on “Hiring Wisdom: There Are Only 2 Real Questions When You Hire

  1. Really?  I agree with the first two questions, but the next four could be part of the root cause to much of our failure around the world.  Shouldn’t we be setting the bar higher – even for our hourly employees?  Many of us “can do” lots of jobs, and learn to “like” many jobs. So, shouldn’t the questions be; “What makes you the better than anyone for the job?”  And, “Why do you think you’ll love this job?”  Yes, I am setting the bar as high as it will go, but shouldn’t we all?  How can you expect your company to do great things if you’re not at least “reaching” for the best when you hire..?  

  2. Tom, I see your point.  But those next four questions are right as long as ranking the applicants is the next step.  Mel addresses raising the bar, understanding good is the enemy of great.

    1. That’s a fair point Larry.  If you’re simply using those questions as the threshold to get over, I’m on board.  As long as you now use that as the low bar (the minimum requirements) as you move forward with candidates.  

      Let’s set the bar higher for ourselves, our colleagues and our companies!  

  3. Interesting questions! Whether the interview is happening in person or through online video, it’s important candidates ask themselves these questions before accepting a job offer. What it really comes down to is organizational fit. While it can be hard to find candidates with the right skills, it’s absolutely essential to find a candidate who will fit into the company and enjoy their work. If neither you or the candidate consider fit when offering and accepting the position, the employee will end up miserable and the company will lose productivity and morale.

  4. New hires become great employees when they and the company hiring are vested in their success.  When you come to the door with a desire to disqualify candidates you will do just that and you will miss the great ones in the process.

    It always amazes me how people forget they were once a new employee with little or no experience. 

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