Getting right into it, consider asking this simple question:
“What does a job mean to you, Sarah?”
Sarah may ask you what you’re looking for more specifically, but you might just ask the question again without any specifics:
“Well, in this question, Sarah, I just want to know what a job means to you.”
Hmm. This could get interesting. Obviously a job to many of us means a way of earning the money needed to live, bring up a family, buy iPhones and iPods and, kidding aside, take care of our necessities.
So let’s see how your different applicants address this question. If their answer covers the basic points above, now you can elaborate:
“That sounds great. Let me ask you this: ‘Do you look forward to the companionship that can occur in the workplace? Is that important to you?'”
“Oh sure” will most likely be the answer. If not, make a note of that.
Then you could ask, “How important is it to you to personally contribute to the goals and purposes of the company you work for?”
If the person answers in the affirmative, ask them to describe how they would accomplish this.
Dig in and around this subject of “having a job” and you’ll surely get some great insights into your candidate.
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