Hiring For Employees? 5 Most Important Background Questions to Ask

imagesThe interview process is one of the most important parts of locating an employee that fits well with the company and that will excel in the position. Interviewers should ask questions about the background of the applicant since these questions reveal a large amount about the person. There are five important background questions to ask applicants during an interview.

Recovery from Previous Mistakes

A revealing question about the background of a potential employee is what was the largest professional mistake in the past and how has the individual recovered. The important part of the answer has to do with recovery after the event. A strong applicant will understand why the mistake occurred and how to avoid it in the future. The answer should show that a single mistake did not derail an entire career.

Any Lingering Responsibilities

Applicants for a position could be coming into the interview with previous responsibilities that might interfere with employment. This might mean some contractual obligation to continue consulting with a previous employer. If an applicant has current bail bonds Fresno CA businesses might want to delay employment until after the trial date. Asking about any lingering responsibilities will prevent surprises later.

Criminal History

Employers will want to ask about the criminal history of applicants. People who have a long conviction record could have problems interacting with the workforce or meeting goals. A repeat offender could suddenly vanish one day if another crime is committed. It is important to ask only about previous convictions since it is not permitted to ask about previous arrests that did not result in a conviction.

Previous Terminations

An important question to ask any applicant is why the person left a previous job especially if there was a clear termination. The reason why a person was terminated could provide a number of clues about what to expect if the applicant is hired. Individuals who were fired for excessive absences, poor performance or hostile interactions with co-workers could present a problem in the workplace. It is useful to ask whether the applicant was ever forced from a job position since this is similar to being fired.

Previous Successes

It is important to ask an applicant about the most significant previous professional success. This success could be the completion of a large public project or the receipt of an industry award. The most valuable previous success will reveal exactly what the applicant considers important. It might also reveal what aspects of the job the applicant finds the most engaging.

Interviewers should listen carefully to each response to each question. Applicants sometimes unintentionally reveal information that could make a person more or less qualified for a position. It is also important to ask follow-up questions about any confusing or unclear points.


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