how to tell if your candidates are ambitious

Interviewing can be challenging – you can get a qualified resume but watch someone totally flop when in-person. Or you find that a candidate seems like a good fit for the role, but they did not meet expectations. Interviews are based on perception, not execution, so you’ll have to put in the extra work if you want answers. Here’s how you can dig deeper and find out if a candidate is truly as driven as they seem.

Questions About Missteps

When you ask a candidate to describe a time they failed on the job, it exposes them in a way that focuses on the real challenges to be expected at work instead of surface-level issues. If an applicant quickly glosses over a mistake or uses this moment to ignore the question and talk about their strengths, you may be dealing with someone that is all talk.

Questions About Exceeding Expectations

Ambitious workers don’t do the bare minimum – they go above and beyond in any role. Even when working under pressure or non-ideal conditions, ambitious people find a way to stand out and make the best of a bad situation. Asking a candidate about a time they went above and beyond at work reveals their character, and you should look for specific examples of initiative in their response.

Questions About Career Goals

Most candidates will take the easy way out and tell you they want to be working with your company if you ask where they see themselves in five years. That’s why it’s important to keep a question about career goals broad so that they can be more creative with their response, and you can assess their commitment. Ask an open-ended question about their overall career goals and let them share their bigger ambitions.

Find Great Talent

For more ways to optimize your hiring process and recruit great candidates, check out Davis Staffing. We work with qualified Chicago candidates to pair them with the perfect opportunity. If you’re looking for more ways to hire with accuracy and speed, you need Davis Staffing.