With accounting and bookkeeping candidates being so hard to find, and employers making generous counter-offers to stop those thinking of leaving from doing so, what can you do to determine whether someone showing interest in joining your business genuine contender, or just gaming the candidate-driven employment market of 2022?
Interview Questions to Assess a Candidate’s Commitment to your Role:
1) What aspects of the role do you think you’ll like? And which will you dislike?
This will give you a little bit of insight into how much the candidate will actually enjoy the role once they start. And whether they did their research & truly understand what they’ve applied for.
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2) Why do you think this job would be different/better than your current job?
This is a good question because it should reveal why the job candidate is actually looking for a new job in the first place. They must have a reason for wanting to leave and they must think that your company would be better – find out why.
3) What did you like about your last job?
Firstly, you don’t want a candidate who says “everything” (so… why are you leaving?). Secondly you don’t want a candidate who says “nothing” (why so negative?). What you’re looking for is someone in-between; a balanced answer that reflects some of things the new role will offer.
4) Tell me what you know about our Company.
Another way to test a candidate’s commitment is to see how well they prepared for the interview. A committed, passionate and proactive job candidate will have taken a lot of time, prior to the interview to find out more about the company. So the above question, along with the following…
“Who are our competitors?”
“What do you know about the role?”
“Tell me what you think about our culture.”
5) What did you like or dislike about our website?
Asking a more specific question like the one above or something like this…
“With our ethos in mind, tell me why you think you’d be a good fit for our business?”
“What are the differences between our company and your current/past company?”
…will give you more of an idea on how prepared your candidate is (and therefore how passionate they are.)
These are much tougher (because they’re so specific) so it is worth bearing in mind the kind and seniority of the role when you consider asking them.
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An easy reference document covering the whole process from scoping the Job Description for upcoming vacancies, right through to making better job offers than your competitors and sealing the deal, and every step in between. Written by Accounting firm Partners, HR/People Management professionals within the accounting and bookkeeping sector and drawing on established and emerging best practice in selection techniques in Australasia, the UK and US, you can have access to a wealth of practical recruitment and selection knowledge and links to external expertise and reusable templates whenever you need it.
6) Where else are you interviewing?
Find out if they are interviewing for similar roles in the same industry as yours or for a broad range of roles across all industries. If the latter is the case, their commitment to your role may not be as strong.
If your candidate’s responses to these questions tells you they are genuinely interested in joining your business, then act quickly to get ahead of competing job offers.
About the Authors
Giles Pearson FCA was a PwC Partner for 18 years before jointly setting up Accountests.
Steve Evans has a whole career dedicated to enabling employers to attract, recruit, develop and retain talented individuals and teams, with particular expertise in candidate testing and assessment before setting up Accountests.
Accountests deliver the world’s only online suite of annually updated and country-specific technical knowledge tests designed by accountants for accountants and bookkeepers.