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The One Question You MUST Ask Candidates in Every Interview


No matter what role it is that you’re recruiting for, you probably have a set list of questions that you ask every candidate. Of course, often you’ll find yourself straying from this set list with follow-up questions based on what’s being offered up by a candidate. And guess what? That’s totally fine. Because any recruiter from Dublin to Darwin will be able to tell you that recruitment is what can only be explained as ‘predictably unpredictable’. Sometimes the candidate that you figured was a shoo-in for the job completely blows it at the on-site interview stage. Sometimes, the candidate you felt so-so about in their screening shows that they are actually the perfect fit for the role during their interview with the Hiring Manager. Absolutely nothing is guaranteed until that contract is drawn up and signed on the dotted line, are we right?!

When it comes to interviewing candidates, chances are the final question that you’ll ask is ‘Do you have any questions for me?’, right? Great stuff. That gives the candidate an opportunity to ask the questions that they’ve (hopefully) prepared in advance of the interview. However, you may be forgetting something. One very simple question that has the potential to change the outcome of any interview…

“Is there anything that you didn’t get a chance to talk about that you’d like us to know?”

That’s right. As basic as that. Do you ask candidates this question in your interviews? If not, we strongly suggest that you change that immediately if not sooner! We have three very good reasons for this.


Reason # 1: You’ll separate the good from the great

Good candidates will tell you that they’ll be able to carry out the role. Great candidates, on the other hand, will demonstrate how they will be able to do the job. By giving your interviewees the opportunity to add something that they feel is important, or to revisit the points made in one of their previous answers, you’ll be able to get a very good indication of their desire to succeed in the role. It’s another opportunity for candidates to showcase the skills and attributes that they feel make them the right person for the job.

Candidate Experience

Reason #2: It’ll boost your candidate experience

We’re always talking about all of the various ways that you can improve your candidate experience, and believe it or not, just by asking this question at the end of every interview, you’ll be able to give yourself a big ol’ pat on the back. We can’t stress just how important it is for every candidate you interview to walk away from the experience feeling as though they’ve given it their all. Now, you may think that this really has nothing to do with you because that is something that rests on the candidate’s shoulders. However, by asking ‘Is there anything you would like to add?’, you’re putting the onus back on the candidate to convince you one last time that they are the right person for the job.

By giving candidates the chance to make a strong closing statement, regardless of how well or poorly they felt they did up to that point, it’s highly unlikely that they will view your organisation in a negative light, even if they aren’t offered the job this time around. Why? Simply because you gave them the opportunity to say everything that they needed to say. Also, on the flip-side, there’s the statistic that 83% of professionals say a negative interview experience would change their mind about a role. What if the person that you’ve decided is right for the role came away from the interview feeling like they didn’t get their points across and as a result, are already interviewing with other companies? That would be a crying shame!


Reason #3: It’s a chance to get candid

Every job seeker on the planet knows that they’ll be asked ‘Do you have any questions for us?’ at the end of an interview. They’re expecting it. They’ve probably prepared two or three questions in advance, in some cases just to have because they know they’ll be asked, not because they are genuinely curious about where the company is headed or the challenges it faces! However, not all candidates will expect to be asked if there’s anything that they would like to add. This gives them the opportunity to forget about their canned, rehearsed answers for a minute and simply have a candid moment with you.

Perhaps you’ll get a proper sense of where it is that their passion lies. Maybe you’ll discover that a change of organisation is something that they’ve thought long and hard about. Or maybe you’ll actually get a clear sense that this candidate really isn’t the person you’re looking for. Not everyone is going to be a superstar interviewee. But sometimes the right fit for the company isn’t always the person that does the best interview. It could be the person who shows the most potential, drive and passion. Asking a candidate if they have anything to add is a great way to take all of this into account before a decision has to be made about who should be ultimately be offered the job.

Regardless of how many interviews a candidate will go through in the hiring process, you should take the opportunity to ask this question at every stage. We guarantee that when the interviews come to a close and it’s decision-making time, you’ll undoubtedly take into account how the candidate answered this question (or didn’t answer this question, as the case may be). Try it out and let us know what results you get!

(RELATED: 3 Interview Questions You Should Ask That Will Predict Job Performance)

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