2 interview questions you should be using but aren’t

Things happen to employees in professional services firms…

Prospects do not convert, clients moan about fees, bosses can be difficult and so can colleagues…

Not every employee warrants the same level of training and development investment, some people deserve to be promoted quicker than others and systems and jobs change over time.

The reason the candidate is leaving their current firm is incredibly important because it is one key to selecting the right person. Remember that if they will have the same problem with you then you must NOT hire them.

Of course, it is also the key to selling the right person that your firm is the right place for them. Simply put, winners in a talent war show how their opportunity will take the candidates current problem away.

That’s basic stuff right? This is not about that, this is about what the person did about their problem?


1. What did you try and do about that problem at XYZ firm?

So let’s say they weren’t writing enough fees because they didn’t have enough leads… But what did they do about it?

Consider the difference between the employee who, when it wasn’t working out just gave up, they contacted a recruiter they knew or applied online to a new job. Compare that to the employee who, when it wasn’t working out tried to go through the dormant files, then he tried contacting introducers or joined a breakfast networking club and only then did he start considering his options.

What would you have done in that situation and who should you be hiring?

2. If you earn a bonus of £5K next month (or quarter or year), what would you spend it on?

This is generally interesting in terms of seeing the candidates current personal reality… More than that though it will tell you where they are up to financially and what money means to this person. Does more money mean healing some pain they are in or is it merely more pleasure for them?

There is a huge difference between what money means to someone who would clear the credit card versus someone who would save it or buy a new gadget for their house or hobby or holidays.

What money means to someone indicates their susceptibility to a counter offer and future competitor offers. This information will also give you a feel for which are the most relevant parts of your opportunity when you come to sell them on should you wish to hire this person. You will lose the right person if you bang on about career development to the guy whose wife needs a new car!

I hope these help when you are next hiring and if you ever need help with hiring winners just write back to me.