When interviewing candidates for your business, it’s important to ask questions that will reveal their level of commitment. Lack of commitment can lead to high employee turnover and disrupt the workflow of your business. This blog discusses five job interview questions that will help hiring managers determine whether or not a candidate’s level of commitment meets your company’s requirements.
The Great Resignation
The Great Resignation, also known as “Big Quit” or the “Great Reshuffle”; is a phenomenon where employees choose to leave their jobs voluntarily in unprecedented numbers. According to recent studies, the Great Resignation began in late 2020 and continues into mid-2022. Recent workforce studies across Asia, Europe, and North America have highlighted a considerable change in employees’ attitudes towards work.
These attitudes have undoubtedly been worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic. Hence, the Great Resignation is an expression used to articulate this new dynamic. Moreover, according to CNN, 47.4 million jobs were left voluntarily in 2021 which is unprecedented.
Employer concerns with voluntary turnover
Persistently high levels of voluntary turnover cause strain on organizations in the short, medium, and long term. Companies that are understaffed for extended periods can hurt employee morale, reduce and productivity. For this reason, we have assembled a set of job commitment interview questions to help your hiring process.
Remember to Employ the Full Recruitment Process
In this blog, we focus on five proven interview questions designed to elicit high commitment from potential candidates. However, it is important to note that, the sum of the full recruitment process is essential and each step has a role to play in finding the right person for your organization:
- Reviewing resumes
- Phone screening
- Formal interviews & structured interview questions
- Assessments, quizzes, questions to test for soft skills, etc.
- reference checks
- Orientation & Onboarding
- Probation period
Note: There is no perfect candidate, the goal is to good find candidates that are a good fit for the job and the organization.
Question # I: If offered the position, how long would you stay with us?
The objective of this question is to gain an idea of how long a prospective candidate intends to remain at your company. Recruiting, Hiring, onboarding, and training employees is a costly process. Thus, it is important to gauge if the candidate is interested in a long-term employment relationship or not.
Interviewers should be looking for answers that demonstrate a high degree of interest in the job, organization, or both:
- Has the candidate taken the time to learn about the company before the interview?
- Does the candidate ask about opportunities for future growth?
- Does the candidate talk about core values, company culture, or the work environment based on your company’s reputation?
- Does the candidate mention long-term goals as part of their answer?
If the candidate takes time to explain in detail the reasons why the applied for the position and presents a thoughtful answer, this is a positive sign. Responses that are vague, unclear, or lack foundation are red flags.
Question # II: Where do you see yourself in five years?
The purpose of this question is to elicit whether or not employees have included your organization in their medium to long-term plans. Additionally, this question can establish whether or not the candidate’s career goals are a good fit for your organization.
Hiring managers should use this interview question to establish the candidate’s level of career-organizational alignment. For example:
- Does the employee mention your organization in their five-year plan?
- Do the candidate’s future goals align with company needs, values and objectives?
- Will the type of opportunities the candidate is looking for be available now or in the future?
The interviewer should look for a response that demonstrates that the job candidate’s future ambitions, career goals, and plans can align with your organization. Furthermore, the clearer the applicant’s thought process is when delivering their response is a good indicator of commitment.
Question # III: What kind of work environment to thrive in?
This question elicits whether or not the company’s work environment, culture, and values are a good match for the prospective candidate. This is an important question as employees are most productive when they are comfortable and if their personalities are a good match with would-be co-workers.
Interviewers should be looking for the following responses:
- Does the candidate prefer traditional work environments, remote, or a casual office structure?
- Does the candidate work better independently or in team-based work settings?
- Do the employee’s personality and work values a good match with your organization?
- Does the candidate demonstrate good soft skills, potential cultural fit, and a generally good match for your business’s work environment?
- Is the candidate a self-starter? Can the meet multiple deadlines?
Note: A sense of enthusiasm for the new job, new challenges and a new organization are good signs.
Question #IV: Why did you leave your last job? Or, Why are you leaving your current job?
The hiring manager requires an explanation for this question because knowing why a job candidate left his previous company says a lot about their character. Candidates may or may not have a good reason for leaving their previous company and it is important to know. Interviews need to consider the following:
- Did the candidate leave their last job voluntarily?
- Was the job candidate terminated or laid off from their previous job?
- Did they leave the company on good terms?
- Does the reason they provide for quitting seem valid or reasonable?
The hiring manager will have to exercise judgment depending on how the entire interview goes. A history of short-term job postings is a red flag.
Question V: What value will you bring to this position?
This interview question is designed to elicit whether or not the candidate has put any thought into what they offer the company in terms of ideas, experiences, or skills. A candidate that is interested in investing their time, energy, and abilities into an organization’s success is more likely to remain for the long-term versus a candidate that provides few or shallow details.
The hiring manager should listen for responses from the job candidate that includes:
- attitudes that signal genuine interest in the job and organization
- relevant credentials (education, designations, certifications, etc.)
- knowledge, experience, or a new idea(s)
- past achievements
Responses that match the job requirements, and specific examples about the candidate’s ability and future performance are good indicators of commitment.
The job commitment interview questions we have shared in this blog are a great tool. However, they shouldn’t be your only tool for assessing commitment. Use them as part of a larger conversation with the job candidate and look for other cues that will suggest their level of dedication to the job. Remember, high employee turnover can disrupt your store’s workflow and impact your bottom line. It’s important to make sure you hire candidates who are committed to the job and will stick around for the long haul.
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