9 Questions Employers Need To Ask Job Candidates

Assessing any person who aims to work in any company is a necessity. In this episode, Jonathan Kraut and Bill Stierle prove to us the importance of screening employees using the right questions and approach. This show is about the nine special questions that employers must ask job candidates in order to get trust and necessary information. Explaining these questions, Jonathan and Bill emphasize the need to hire somebody who is representing the truth and not posing risks to the company or organization.

Listen to the podcast here:

9 Questions Employers Need To Ask Job Candidates

Interview Methods For Employers Regarding The Mindset And View Of The Person

Information is where the power sits, Jonathan. This is where we’ve got to get knowledge transfer to take place. This show is about the nine special questions that employers must ask job candidates. It is to get trust and the information that you need in order to get the trust. The employer needs to hire the candidate. They almost need to get themselves out of the way and stay on the questions and allow trust and truth to come towards them. Isn’t that a big part of it? You’ve got to have trust and you’ve got to have the truth.

A lot of employers go through a checklist, like, “Where can you work? What hours can you work? Do you have transportation? What’s your education?” That’s all preliminary and superficial stuff that if an employer agrees that there’s a possibility they can work. They are eligible. You’ve only cracked the shell. You haven’t gotten inside the person’s head. You don’t know how they’re thinking, how they’re functioning and what’s important to them. As an employer, you can better manage and allocate resources when you understand the content. We’re trying to get inside the content, not the superficial stuff.

As well as to save time. Who wants to hire somebody and then have to rehire the same person in three or six months during the probation period? We’re thinking, “Look at all this stuff disclosed in the field of time.” I think, Jonathan, this is a left-brain, logical and analytical safekeeping function. That’s why these nine questions are helpful here because our time is so valuable to us. If we don’t get truth early, we’re trying to catch up with the truth later. Our intuition is great, but it’s only one-half of it. We’ve got to get the information that we need. This is why this first question around how many job candidates lie is valuable. Maybe you could take us through this. These are things that you’ve experienced in your research.

As an investigative firm, we’re doing this for other agencies, for employers, for people who are renting property, for people who are hiring caregivers for their children or their elderly. We internally know that just because you look at someone’s record, it is not going to tell you much more than whatever is in the public record. Probably, more than half of all crimes are not reported at all. Possibly, half of those that are reported aren’t prosecuted at all. You got to ask a few questions to find out what’s going on in someone’s head. The first alarming statistic that we’re aware of is that somewhere between 50% and 85% of those who present resumes have lied on their resume. The assumption has to be going in that if you have someone that intends to deceive an employer, an apartment owner or somebody, what kind of credibility or trust would be created if you catch them in their deception? Are you still going to hire somebody who is not representing the truth? How are they going to be regarding money or treating other people?

The word lie is significant here because there’s a scale between the color black and the color white. There’s this near truth. There’s this partial truth, “Yes, I did work for that company once. Yes, I did do this presentation for this company once.” It is a truth, but it might not be a full truth and it goes into this lie category. They’re not going to disclose things because they’re interested in meeting their needs to start over again, to get past their criminal record, to get a financial income to move beyond the mistakes of the past. We both get it. People have got to try to live their lives and at the same time, if it’s a risky piece of the equation, we may want to ask some questions to help with that. As you were saying, 15% lie about their criminal past. They do. Tell us a little bit about how some states work on this so that we could cut and tether this one out.

As an investigation agency, we’re often asked to do a criminal background check. We have to get a release in writing of the hundreds of thousands of people that we’ve assessed and analyzed. About 15%, about 1/8, 1/7 checked the box, “I do not have any criminal record. I’ve never been convicted.” We found that they have been and not only have they been, but it was not that long ago, like a year ago. We sometimes call them and say, “You checked no, but we found a criminal record. Are you disputing it? Is it a mistake?” They go, “No, I didn’t think that anyone actually checked. I’ve been hired by five companies and nobody ever checks my record. They do a quick background check in five minutes and they don’t find it. I’m surprised you found it.” I go, “All we have to do is look.” There is the expectation that you can lie and not get caught and that seems to be pretty prevalent unfortunately.

Isn’t that interesting? 60% to 70% of thefts and the company lost. Somewhere along the line, from the hiring point in order to the point where the employees are stealing things, embezzle things or misappropriate things somewhere in the employees’ mind, there’s either fairness, justice or a lack that’s coming in. You almost want to get in front of that during the interview process. There is some evidence about that.

I want to go back into why some states don’t want you to ask about conviction. In California, for example, they don’t want you to ask them if they were convicted because they don’t want to discriminate against someone who is untrustworthy or who commits a crime. They want to give them an equal chance, even though they’ve had a bad criminal past or a disreputable past to ignore it, which is insane. If someone has a substantial criminal record, they’re not learning and improving, that would be relevant to someone’s safety. There are some states that don’t want you to ask. What we say instead is, “Is there anything in your criminal or civil record that we need to know about that’s relevant to trusting you and relevant to your conduct?” That’s a way to get around it.

Even if they don’t tell you if you do a thorough criminal search or misconduct search, you’re going to find it anyway. You’re trying to assess their openness. If somebody says, “Yes, I had a DUI fifteen years ago. I had another traffic ticket ten years ago for speeding,” and they’re not in a driving situation, that probably doesn’t matter very much. However, if they’re a truck driver or a driver and they had a DUI years ago, and they didn’t go to their classes, that’s very relevant. It depends. Moving onto the next question that you had is, 60% to 70% of employees account for theft and company loss. It’s more important to watch the people who handle your cash registers, your inventory, accounting books, your credit card information about your clients or the bank information of your elderly or even property of your children. It’s more likely that theft or loss will occur from inside than outside. Unfortunately, there’s more internal theft and loss through bank tellers stealing money than there is for bank robbery. By asking the right questions, you’re going to maybe reach that wall between what they’re thinking and what they represent, which are usually not the same.

In those environments, you want to get ahead of it through the inquiry and the question asking beforehand so you can get a sense of where they might be in relation to these things. You say the sentence, “Employers are rarely able to prosecute for employee climbs.” Tell us a little bit about that. What happens there? It’s like you figure that an employer if somebody is doing a crime in-house, what’s going on there? It’s almost like the criminal needs to be from the outside before the police will get in. Tell us a little bit about that.

As we doing our investigations as a firm, a lot of work comes our way because we have to build a criminal case against the unemployed or former employee because the police won’t do it. They say it’s a civil matter. You hired that person. They stole money from you. You gave them the checking account number. It’s your fault. We don’t resolve it. We don’t care. If they steal a bicycle, we’ll put them in jail for five years, but if they steal $100,000, that’s on you.” That’s been predominantly the value of law enforcement that we see around the country. I don’t know why that is. To me, a person who’s entrusted with special access has a higher duty and a higher responsibility than a stranger that steals a bicycle. Generally, law enforcement is not interested in prosecuting internal theft.

White-collar crime versus blue-collar crime is the thing that showed up in my head. I could be completely wrong about those two terms, but at the same time, it was like, “I’d rather take or prosecute from this place outside.” That’s so interesting. I never thought about that. Here it is with this white-collar internal theft is not stealing actual property. Tell us about that.

Law enforcement and the laws that are written are geared towards property theft or hurting another person. If I steal $50,000 from you, it’s clean money. There was no physical tangible property. It’s just money, which is a concept so that doesn’t count. A lot of DAs also don’t prosecute for that because they say it’s your own internal issue. You hired them. They had a criminal background. You didn’t know. It’s your fault. You deal with it. It’s not our problem. Even information is considered not property. Information like account information, clients’ and employees’ names, phone numbers, Socials and dates of birth, they’re considering that as not actual property. We’re finding this around the country. It’s very disappointing. Don’t give up employers out there. Get some help from an agency like ours. With a little work and a little good detective work, we can put it together for you and we can get a prosecution.

That’s good to know. Just to have your net check investigation approach to this will allow the employer to get the extra support that they need in order to have a successful effort to recover something possibly, correct?

Employer Interview Questions: As an employer, you can better manage and allocate human resources when you understand who your potential employees are.

We hope so. The next issue is that some law enforcement agencies are reluctant because there’s no person that is the victim. If it’s a corporation then nobody suffered. The corporation or company has lots of money. What’s the issue? We get that as an excuse on a regular basis. You have to push law enforcement and prosecution to say that it doesn’t matter if the person is a corporation, a company or an owner. It’s still a crime and must be prosecuted.

I’ve been thinking about the different companies that I consult with, their awareness level is very low around this. Even by looking at this next sentence, “Companies are not geared to prepare cases.” You’re right. They are completely out of that view set.

There are some large companies that are very good at this. I don’t want to say who they are, but they’re very well-known. They know what to do. They have the entire staff created and focused on these issues. Medium-size companies and some large companies can’t afford to have a whole staff, a legal team and an investigative team set aside to do this. Our agency and others are able and happy to do this and we support them.

That’s that next level of support. Tell us a little about the companies hiding misconduct. I could see the PR value by reading this, but tell us a little bit of story or two about this one.

We have a lot. There are times where we definitively and completely identify how the fraud, embezzlement or loss was committed. Who did it? When they did it? How much they took? How did they take it? When do they take it? The company will say, “We don’t want to take this forward. We’re going to dismiss the person without judging them and allow them to resign voluntarily.” That means it never gets entered into the record. Nobody has any idea what happened because of our reputation and the trust of our clients will be eroded. It’s easier to accept the loss of $50,000, $100,000, $200,000 or even $1 million than to admit that they don’t know what they’re doing and they’re not watching their money. It sounds crazy but the PR value, in many cases, outweighs the monetary loss. It is hard to believe.

I can appreciate it. If a company has wrongdoing sitting there and I’m going to hire that company or this one company and I don’t hear any wrongdoing from this company, but I hear wrongdoing over here. It’s like, “Those guys don’t have their act together. These have their act together. These guys are better at concealing it than those ones are over there.”

That might be the case.

Managers also can hide misconduct too.

Especially with nonprofits, we find this to be common. The board or the executive director of a nonprofit will determine or realize that there has been some internal theft, fraud, embezzlement or misallocation and won’t bring it up to others because it makes them look bad. When we’re hired to do this, we have confidentiality. We don’t disclose without permission to anybody what’s going on. Unfortunately, our lips are sealed. If the manager says, “I know now what happened. Thank you. I’ll take care of it. We’re on our way.” The records are here. We keep everything in case they change their minds.

This is setting up the questions to ask all of a sudden. I’m thinking in my own head here, you’ve got to ask, “What was the reason you were let go of or what’s the reason why you transitioned out of that job?” Calling that person and see if they’re going to give you BS and be like, “They were a great employee.” You hear that little tone in their voice of, “But not really. They’re not.”

Employers are afraid to tell what happened. If it’s true and you’re not violating a person’s individual privacy, it’s fine. I think they always need to help each other, especially when it comes to caregiving.

That’s probably one of the best sentences on this show. Employers need to help each other with hiring. The skill and integrity of employees moving from position to position. That’s huge.

Almost everyone’s going to deal with people or money. Employers, please help each other.

What if you fail to undertake a comprehensive misconduct search? I’m guessing there are a few things that you can run through. If you’d be willing to read through these and throw a little bit of stuff in our direction, I think it’d be helpful.

A person who's entrusted with special access has a higher duty and a higher responsibility than a stranger that steals a bicycle. Share on X

There are three levels of checking someone out or pre-screening. The first one is you do a peripheral view, “Are they qualified? Are they interested? Are they eligible? Can they work there?” The second one is our interview. The third one is, even if with a good interview, you want to do a comprehensive misconduct search because things in the record will help you. For example, if you don’t do one and you don’t ask the right questions, you might miss something which is possible. You may put children or the elderly or coworkers at risk. It can lead to an unsafe workplace. You might be liable for not screening correctly. In other words, you didn’t look for things as a normal person would. You might ignore the signs of unwanted character traits. For example, constant or protection against them. Civil harassment, which is not criminal, it’s civil. You’re finding all these things. You’re going to increase the likelihood of a lawsuit. You’re going to increase the likelihood of internal theft or embezzlement because you didn’t look at the record to see what was reported and what was filed. It makes a lot of sense.

It does. It’s a good checklist to start from. These questions that are coming up here for profiling, investigating or poking a stick in a positive way on your company for this candidate or associate that’s showing up. Talk to us a little bit about this profiling as a term.

Profiling assesses the mindset and view of a person. We’re not looking at their history, they’re public record history or their employment history. We’re trying to determine how they think or what is going on in their head. Especially as investigators, we do that with witnesses in criminal cases and civil cases when we interview people. We also want to apply that skill to bring someone into our organization.

The information that’s not located on the resume. It’s gathering the motivation, the representation, the conflict orientation, the pathology or predispositions. You’re getting these key characteristics to move forward.

We wanted to find some terms. Dominant motivation is what someone’s after. Someone might have recognition, wealth, ability, lack of restriction or emotional contact with people. There is something that holds all our activities together in one thread. The dominant motivation is very important because it tells you what their goal is and what they’re trying to do. Everything they do is related to that. The second term is the dominant representation. It means, how do they pretend to be or how do they portray themselves? Do they say, “I’m the greatest that ever was. I’m wonderful. I’m fantastic?” They may say, “I’m new. I’m learning. I’m open.” What did they represent themselves to be? “I’m a go-getter. I’m hard at work.” Do they say, “I’m creative, I’m innovative?” The third item, which is highly important, especially when you’re around people is their conflict orientation. When something’s not going right, how do they approach it? What do they do? Do they shoot you or do they ask for help? What is their orientation towards conflict? Finally, we’re looking at someone’s pathology or predisposition. Do they love to sue everybody when they don’t get their way because in the past they were treated unfairly? Were they abused as a child? Do they have some remorse or regret or revenge going on that’s a subtext to their activity? If you can find it, you can present a better picture of what that person’s profile is.

Can You Tell Me What Our Firm Does?

These series of questions is going to pull the covers back on this and pull the curtain back so we can see what’s inside. Question number one is, “Can you tell me what our firm does?”

When you interview, you don’t necessarily want to tell them what your firm does. You’re not advertising. You’re promoting how great you are and all the things you do. You want to find out their level of preparation and interests. Are they in front of you knowing anything about your organization? What is their thought process? It may reveal their actual motivation to interview. A person might say, let’s say it’s a private security company. That’s a good example. “What does your firm do?” “They do private security.” “Do you know anything about us?” You take that a little bit further, “No, I don’t know anything about you. I don’t know if you patrol. I don’t know if you have alarms.” What that tells me is the person’s mind is saying, “I just want to get a job.” It’s not about career. The dominant motivation is I need a job. I need money. That tells me there’s not a lot of maturity or depth there because that’s very superficial. There’s no reason that a person will stay because if they get a dollar more, they’ll go somewhere else. There’s no interest in what the organization does.

You’re actually testing to see if they’ve researched it and at least looked on your website. At least looked at here’s what I’ve done. I’m thinking in reflection, how many interviews in my youth that I went to? The interviewer was telling me all about their company and what a great place it is to work for.

That’s their dominant representation. They’re trying to tell you the way they hope you think they are. Unfortunately, when you tell them how you think they are, they’re compensating for something. If you’re great, you don’t have to tell people. Everybody knows you’re great. You don’t have to remind people, “I have a light issue.”

In What Ways Do You Believe This Firm Is Successful?

Question number two is, “In what ways do you believe this firm is successful?”

That’s a loaded question. That’s a great profiling question. They’re going to say what they think success means to them. They may not know what you think and they can’t possibly guess what they think your firm needs to be successful.

I like your logo. I like the way your ad sounded. It seems that you’ve got a good reputation. Whatever they say but it’s more revealing about them.

It exposes their understanding of the industry. It reveals what they believe the interviewer wants. It offers an opportunity for them to give data. For example, in an interview, somebody might say, “I like the way that you’ve grown 10% every year for five years. I liked the way you broke the $100 million mark. I like the way you have offices in 22 states. I appreciate the innovation, the creativity, the online access.” That tells you how they’re thinking. If someone says, “I like the pay. You’re near my house. The hours are convenient.” That means it’s about their convenience and their needs, it’s not about the company’s needs. I see where they’re coming from. A lot of times after question two, I stopped asking questions because if one or two don’t work, I don’t keep going.

That’s like, “Thank you. We’ll let you know.”

Employer Interview Questions: Profiling assesses the mindset and view of a person.

I don’t say, “We’ll let you know.” I am not like, “We’ll put you off to later.” I say, “I don’t think this is a good match right now. In a year or two, you may want to reapply.” I don’t want to carry on a lie that I don’t want.

What Experiences And Education You Possess Are Related To The Work With Our Firm?

Question number three, “Describe the experiences and education you possess related to the work with our firm.”

This is a softball answer. We’re trying to say, “Please tell me why you can be here?” It may not be on the resume. This gives them a chance to come up with ideas and information that is not apparent. Also, this is what we call the good BS detector. If they show a lot of confidence and they have a lot of things. They’re so great and wonderful and everything they’ve done in their life since they were born with is for this job and everything that they intend to do is been about coming here, that’s probably not true. In fact, it’s very deprived and their deception level is very high. A lot of times, they don’t give our clients or employers the right answers. They’re trying to overwhelm you with, “I’m great and I’m wonderful. How could you say no?”

Authenticity is going to be lost. The truth is going to be lost in that overconfidence. Maybe they’re telling stories that are trying to create impact but are not really in alignment with truth. That makes a lot of sense.

The opposite is true. Some people cannot tell you how they prepared yourselves. For example, a lot of our agents that we hire one day go into law enforcement or work for the county in the court system or probation. We know that we can’t keep everybody for life. We want them to move to the next level. This is a good two or three-year training process to go there. The common question that law enforcement will ask when they’re interviewing you is, “Have you prepared yourself?” If you say, “I watched 911 on TV and I watched NCIS.” That’s not preparation, that’s entertaining. Do you shoot a gun? Do you run track? Do you lift weights? Do you take martial arts? Do you write reports? Do you work for a security firm? Do you work for a PI firm? Do you work for a law firm? What do you do that gives me an idea that you’re committed to this? Too little information is as bad as too much.

If Hired, What Do You Expect To Achieve One Year From Now?

Question number four is, “If hired, what do you expect to achieve one year from now?”

This is a little profiling trap. We want to hear the first words out of their mouth, even if it’s a joke. That’s what they’re thinking. The dominant motivation is what’s behind them being in front of you. What are they after? How does that affect their life? One example is we did a joint interview with a corporation where they’re going to hire a chief executive officer. The guy said, “What I’m expecting is to have lunch and go drinking every lunch and not come back after 2:00.” He went on to what he thought was the right answer. In reality, we called his previous employer and what he did was he’d go to lunch at 11:00, go drinking and not come back. That’s exactly what he did. That’s why he was there. One year from now, he wants it to be able to do that at any time or every day. If it was a joke, it was exactly true.

People’s words are congruent with what they’re thinking and what they’re going to do. They may allude to the pathology and the pathology is, this is how this person’s soul is suffering. They’re suffering from bad behavior. They’re connected to that bad behavior or that junky behavior. They’re going to keep doing the habit of that bad behavior or that junky behavior at the company’s expense.

It gives you a better idea of their mindset. Let’s say the person’s job is beyond their education or experiential age, are they going to get it in one year? That might be a little bit impossible. That’s the dominant representation. The representation is I want something. The question is, is it achievable? If it’s not achievable, they’re a little bit deceptive. Maybe not intentionally, but internally they’re in conflict. I want something I don’t deserve. I want something that I can’t get.

I don’t have the skill for it, I don’t have the persistence for it, I don’t have the time for it, but I do want this idealistic thing to shows up.

That might show up as pathology as anger towards the employer because I didn’t get what I want even though I don’t deserve it.

What Will We Find When We Do A Background Check On You?

It’s almost like what I’m willing to work for in the years’ time is my six-month review, my year review. If I do a good job, here are some things that I’d like to see. Question number five is, “We conduct thorough background screening. What will we find when we talk to your previous employers in the civil or criminal records?” You’re being very much upfront that we’re going to do a screening on you. Could you tell us what we’re going to find before we get there?

We ask a candidate, “What will we find when we do this?” We’re not saying if we do it. We say, “We’re going to do it, what will we find?” One way to draw them out is they’ll say, “My records are great. You’ll find that I did a good job. My employers will love me. They know I’m here. You’ll find out that when I moved, I gave notice.” Sometimes it’s very good. “One of my last employers promised to promote me. He said that I would be promotable. He promised to give me a raise, but never gave me a raise. I’ve done a great job for them.” They make themselves look really great. It’d be self-evident. Maybe some of that is true, but they probably left because they wanted something that they didn’t deserve. They had some interpersonal issues, but a lot of times they overcompensate. “I go to church a lot. You’ll find this, I’ll find that. There are a couple of things in my past that I’m not proud of, but I fixed it.” That’s overcompensation. Sometimes, other stories will show up that are not related, which means they’re diverting from answering. You want to try to be certain to get answers, not general statements like, “I’ve been pretty good throughout everything. I’m very proud or I’m not proud or I’m kind of proud.”

What Are Your Hobbies And Why Do You Like To Do Them?

It’s the balance between authenticity and truth-telling. A person could come back from a mistake or a problem by going like, “This did not work out so well. I want to let you know about it because this is what you’re going to find on the record.” If they are doing it with a little bit of humility, at least you’re going to take a look at them again. Question number six is, “What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time? Why do you like to do this?” It’s crossing over to the personal line, but it is giving some information about what they might be like as an employee.

For example, there’s a sports team where we interviewed some people. We were hoping that as a hobby, they like to train other people in this sport. They like to exercise. They like to work out. They like to go and observe other teams playing. That’s their dominant representation of what they’re trying to portray and their motivation. We could identify it because they’re going to tell us what they like to do and why. If they say, “I’m a very diligent administrator. I love math. I love science. I go to museums for hobbies. I coach children.” That’s in alignment. If they say, “It’s a hobby, I watch TV, I do nothing. I stay at home. I don’t really care.” That’s not in alignment with somebody whose passion is something other. You want to see if their passion is connected to their profession.

People's words are congruent with what they're thinking and what they're going to do. Share on X

There are some extra skills that you can identify from the hobbies too, some extra benefits.

You want to see if their eyes light up like they were in the other questions, especially three and four. Are they excited to talk about their hobbies or are they not? They should be excited about their potential work as they are about their free time.

What Have Been Some Of Your Challenges And How Did You Handle Them?

Question number seven, “All environments have conflicts and issues. Describe two times that you faced with challenges. What do you overcome and how did you handle these challenges?” What does this question tell us?

There are different levels of conflict. If you hear, “Everywhere I’ve worked, my boss has always treated me poorly and I just leave.” The way they handle conflict or an issue is they go away and start over. Odds are that will happen with you. If they say, “I always have to get the legal department involved because they don’t pay me right or in my hobby, I found that there’s always somebody trying to stop me from something.” Are they talking about recognition, financial issues, interpersonal issues or structural issues? The content of their discussion is as important as how they handle it.

The content might be my need for respect wasn’t met, I withdrew from that. My need for fairness wasn’t met, I withdrew from that. My need for acknowledgment wasn’t met. There could be all these different needs that could be coming up that they’re not willing to work through or face. There might be a setup that they’re doing. They really need this transition to take place. That makes sense.

How do they handle the issue? What was the outcome? “I petitioned. I got the group behind me. I wrote letters. I went to the board. I bypassed my boss.” What is it that they did to resolve it? My guess is a lot of these issues persist. They’re not resolved. The individual carries them with them everywhere they go.

What Makes You Happy?

That could make a big difference. Overcoming is a big part. Can they work within a system or not? How about number eight?

This is a great question and I recommend you ask it earlier, but we put it to the end because it ties in everything. Eight and nine work together. If you feel fulfilled and satisfied, look at them carefully and see if they’re happy. Trying to see what their topic is. Are they relating to the people, income, promotion, recognition, service and problem-solving? Are they trying to overcome something? What makes them happy? “I love to get a raise because I deserve it. I was underpaid. I love to prove myself.” Some of those things are very positive and some are not.

What Makes You Frustrated Or Unfulfilled And What Are You Doing About It?

What’s nice about these vetting questions is it gets to the heart of the matter too. Instead of the functional part. I do a lot of job interviews too, but most of my stuff is roles and responsibilities. Does this skill match this? These sets of questions are looking a little bit deeper, which can be valuable because we want to be able to take a look at what’s going on in the internal part of their world. Question number nine is “Describe what makes you frustrated or unfulfilled. How do you feel when this happens? What are you going to do when it happens? What are you going to do about this?”

That’s a validation of question seven. We’re looking at conflict or issues. We’re asking it in a different way to see if they match. Is there any merchant cognitive thought or representation? What is it that exists in their mindset? Everyone feels unfulfilled or frustrated at some point. What is that and how do they do that? There’s a conflict management question again in a different way. It should be the opposite of what makes you feel fulfilled. In other words, if someone says, “I’m fulfilled by progress and by promotion. Why I’m frustrated? It is because of my hours.” That should be the opposite. “I’m frustrated when I deserve a promotion and I can’t get one.” It should be related to the previous question.

Many times, people get stuck with their frustrations and escalate them when they don’t need to be escalated. Asking questions about what you’ve heard and observed. It sounds like this is a good landing pad for us after these nine questions. Does this person’s past success and performance match with what the company needs? Are we answering a yes, no or maybe with this question? Sometimes, you have to take the maybe. You can’t take the yes, because the yes person is overqualified. Tell me about this knowing of resumes being false. I can see what items are you going to verify? What’s your tolerance for deception? What is something that you see that employers need to embrace about this one?

It’s easy for an employer to get a release to fax it to a previous company. It’s going to ask you a few questions. The questions should be, “This person claims they’ve worked in this role for you from this time to this time. Is that accurate? Yes or no?” That is very peripheral. “The person has suggested that these were their duties. Is that approximately accurate? Yes or no?” The big one is, “They claimed that they left for this reason. I know that for privacy you can’t exactly tell me, but is that reason true? Would you bring that person back even if that reason is true?” They accuse them, “That’s not exactly what they said. No, we don’t want them back.” Hopefully, an employer will say, “They embezzled $50,000. They’re under review for indictment. They’re an accountant with a proliferation of writing bad checks or false checks.” You want to go back and spot check. Let’s say that they’re in education, childcare, daycare or eldercare. You’ll want to see how they’ve handled previous clients and why did they change positions? What happened?

When you use the phrase, cognitive preferences, how do you define that?

Bill, that’s actually your field.

That’s why I might as well throw the softball in your direction.

Employer Interview Questions: Many times, people get stuck with their frustrations and escalate them when they don’t need to be escalated.

We’re looking here at their mindset. Are they a strategic viewer of the organization? Do they see a bigger picture? Are they very technical and want to be given work? Do they have interpersonal relationships with people and have emotional connections? What is the reason behind all this?

The alignment, is this an engineering type that is more logical and analytical? I want to match them with that job or the CTO that is going to handle that. Is it more of a strategic big-picture thinker? I want them in marketing. Is it the interpersonal person that I want in sales or the operations person that gets everything done? It’s getting aligned with the cognitive preferences that can make a big difference for an organization.

You want to ask yourself if the goals, their dominant motivation and their conflict approach, are good matches for growth and contribution and promotions. You never want to hire someone that will never go anywhere. A good employer, if someone’s renting property, what are the long-term likelihood for meeting the organization’s goals or the employer’s goals or the landlord’s goals? Will they be met with this person or this family?

One of the questions that I recommend is, “Is this person at my skill level so that I’m not coaching them or I can delegate to them? I need them to have the skill that is necessary or needed.” One of the things is I’ve got to have the person that has that motivation as well as that skillset that is something I’m going to delegate to.

You want to look at the variance between their dominant motivation and representation. This is where a lot of deception can be or they’re lying to themselves. Maybe you’re not going to blame them for that.

They’re boosting their self-worth. It’s another way to say, “Lying to yourself.”

They’re saying one thing and they actually do another. You want to look for that and see if that’s of relevance or not. Maybe it isn’t.

It’s time for verification. I guess we better do some stuff. We conduct a comprehensive misconduct search. We want to call the former employees, even if it’s not listed. We want to spot check the credentials and resumes. We want to provide this cognitive preference survey and compare them with established profiles. Follow up with an interview, have somebody else interview. Take note of those variances.

Sometimes, one interviewer will get one heart-dropping story, “This is amazing.” The other interviewer gets a completely different story about the same event. Probably, neither story is true. Sometimes comparing notes between the two is very valuable.

That is valuable. I can see it right away. How about asking the kid if they’re flexible? I like this one. It’s like, “From time to time, we may need to work over the weekend. Are you available for that?” Even though you might not have any work on the weekend, you are trying to test in their willingness to do whatever it takes.

We had one individual that was going to be hired for a key position that said, “Do not call me on weekends or after 5:00. I’m only committed to helping you all I can during these hours. After that, I’m not going to be of any help and do not bother me.” The role required constant access to people and information. A salaried role is whenever the company needs them to do something and that would discriminate that person from that role. They are not going to be willing to do extra things. The commitment level was to them, it was not to the organization.

It’s up to people to contact you. For more information about ways that you can get support to get greater protection. This is the thing that you’re up to as to invite people to check out your website.

Give us a call. This is very complex, so there may be some issues that we didn’t discuss or there are nuances we didn’t review. We’re happy to help anyone that we can that deserves it and wants it. We could go on this, but we don’t want to get into the details of every little thing. We gave our audience a great idea of where to start.

I appreciate, Jonathan, your time to share this with everybody. We know that information is power and good decisions start with great information. Thanks for your time and for contributing to all the people that are reading this piece of work. We’re looking forward to hearing from you the next time.

Thank you, Bill.

You’re welcome.