What If You Only Had One Interview Question to Ask?

We surveyed several recruiters to find out what is THE question that they would ask candidates if they were only allowed one interview question. Here is what they told us.

“Why, at this point in your career, have you decided to choose our company? And how do you want to contribute to its success in your new functions?” Mathieu Beaufort, CHRP, Vice President and Partner at 1MPACT Business Partners

This question lets him assess both whether the candidate has prepared specifically for this interview and at what stage he is situated in his career. “The answers are sometimes very vague, because the candidate is shooting in many directions at the same time,” he notes.

“If you had an unlimited budget and no restrictions on spending it, what would you do with it in our company?”

Charlène Brahim, Business Solutions Director at Humanify360

“Each answer initiates discussion and brings out the frustrations encountered in previous jobs,” she explains. “It says a lot about the things that are important for the person, so it helps me to make a good assessment of the fit.” In addition, this question was put to her at her own interview at Humanify360. “Since then I have not let it go!”

“What do you do to be happy in life?”

Simon Clément, CHRP, Culture and Talent Director at nnumann

“It’s easy to be a good candidate, but its something else to be a good employee,” he believes. “By being more interested in the person we can learn much more about his sources of motivation, his degree of commitment, his life balance, etc.”

“What kind of job and company do you need to find to contribute to its success, to feel like getting up in the morning and to grow in your work and in your team?”

Claude Martel, Executive Recruiter at Ascension

According to the recruiter, this interview question lets the candidate “mix his desire to contribute using his knowledge and skills with the concept of professional fulfilment.” “Everyone wants to find meaning in what they do, and want to get up in the morning to go to work,” he says.

“Taking your past professional experiences into account, if you were asked to choose a position and occupy it until the end of your career, describe this role to me and the environment in which you would be called upon to grow and contribute, and why?”

Mélanie Sirois, President and Owner of Dotemtex Executive Search

“It never happens that I only have one question to ask,” she says. “But if I had to, I would seek out what the person needs to be happy in a future position, in order to know if what we have to offer could match what she wants.”

The five recruiters say that their interview question has evolved with experience, but also with the context. The current labour shortage and the new conception of work for younger candidates are reflected in their response. “Today, people want their job to allow them to have fun and to flourish, but also to match their values,” sums up Mélanie Sirois. “We have become aware that if we don’t ask the right questions, we will displease candidates and they will go elsewhere,” Claude Martel finishes.

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