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Top interview questions to ask candidates in the next era of work

By: Hays Recruitment expert on July 10th, 2020

Your business has changed as a result of the pandemic and so have your people – both current and future. Now more than ever, it is important that the questions you ask reflect that when interviewing. If you ask the right questions, you will hire the right people to help set your organization apart.

Below are four interview questions to consider asking candidates, as you assess whether they have the right skills to help your organization not only survive, but thrive in the next era of work.

1. “Do you prefer to work independently or as part of a team?”
A hybrid way of working will likely become a new way of functioning for many organizations post-pandemic. A ‘hybrid’ team is a partially distributed workforce with part of a team working from the office, and the other part working from home. You will want to take this into consideration when interviewing. Make sure to assess where the candidate would prefer to spend most of their time and in which setting they might deliver the most value to your business.

For many hiring managers, “Do you prefer to work independently or as part of a team?” was a common interview question pre-COVID, but the answer given in the post-COVID world, now has far more meaning and importance as we enter the next era of work.

2. “How do you maintain your productivity and motivation while working remotely?”

It is likely that remote working will no longer be seen as a ‘perk’ post-pandemic. Going forward, candidates will demand a higher level of flexibility to work remotely – whether that be from their homes or somewhere else. During the pandemic, most managers have been pleased with the levels of productivity within their ‘suddenly remote’ teams. In fact, our recent survey found that 22% of employers found that staff productivity increased while working remote. Most will attest this is due to fact that working remote gives staff have the freedom to form their own new habits and schedules – helping them to work in a way that they find personally most effective.

3. “How do you practice ongoing learning and upskilling?”

The pandemic has emphasized the need for organizations to ensure their people are agile and flexible. Having the skills necessary to adapt to challenges that come with sudden change is crucial. Employers will need to focus on providing digitalized training and ultimately embedding a culture of lifelong learning into their organizations. It is also important that employees are committed to their own learning, so that continuous upskilling becomes a habit and something they get fulfilment out of.

Asking this question to your candidates will help you understand if they are committed to their own lifelong learning and if so, how they practice it. You could even ask them what new skills they have recently learned independently, and how they went about learning them.

4. “Tell me about a time when you have failed.”

There are many unknowns as we look to the future. Organizations are quickly changing direction, seeking out new markets and potentially new customers. All this change and uncertainty means that there will undoubtedly be bumps along the way as you start to re-align both your business and your people. To be successful in the future, the next era of work will demand a sense of being comfortable with being uncomfortable.

By asking your candidates to explain a time when they have failed, you will be able to learn if they are truly comfortable with failure and see it as an opportunity for growth and learning.

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