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What to ask candidates in a third-round interview
Before you reach a hiring decision, you screen and evaluate candidates through several interview rounds. Though the hiring process isn’t the same at each company and for every role, there are some basic guidelines:
- Phone screening interviews are useful as the first contact with job applicants to determine whether they possess the must-have skills for the position.
- Second-round interviews delve deeper into candidates’ skills and test how they’d manage work-related scenarios.
- Third-round interviews evaluate whether candidates would be a good fit not only for the specific role but the entire organization.
For the third-round interview, use a combination of competency-based and situational interview questions to gauge how candidates handle complex situations. Identify candidates who:
- Take creative approaches
- Think proactively
- Are motivated
- Are holistic thinkers
If this is the final round of your hiring process, include questions that reveal candidates’ career goals. It’s best to opt for potential hires who share the same values with your company and are more likely to stick with you in the long-run.
Third interview questions to ask candidates
- What is something you’d be happy doing every day at work?
- What resources/training would enhance your performance?
- Tell me about a time you took on a task that was out of your regular job duties due to an emergency. What happened and how did you manage the new task?
- What is more important: delivering an OK project on time or delivering a perfect project after the deadline?
- How do you think you can contribute to our company’s goal to increase revenues, reach more customers and build a new product?
- If hired, what do you hope to learn in your first five months here?
- Describe the most challenging project you’ve worked on so far. What made it challenging: difficult coworkers, vague expectations, few resources, tight deadlines or something else? How did you overcome the obstacles?
How to assess answers in a third interview
- Candidates at this stage have the necessary skills for the position. Use these questions to identify if they also desire to do this job. Candidates who show enthusiasm when talking about their duties and goals are more likely to stay with your company for a long time.
- Consider candidates as long-term partners. How will they fit in your company culture? You need knowledge and hard skills to perform daily tasks, but also look for people who will collaborate well with a team, respect your policies and adjust to your way of working.
- Don’t be fast to reject candidates who don’t give the best answer. Third interview questions are usually complex. Look for signs of flexibility and openness to criticism. Opt for candidates who positively accept feedback and want to learn from their mistakes.
- Make sure that candidates understand the scope of responsibilities they will have to manage, if hired. It’s natural if they don’t express the same enthusiasm or have equal knowledge of every aspect of the job, but motivated people will demonstrate a desire to learn and evolve within the company.
- To reach a hiring decision or create a shortlist for the CEO, combine information from all previous interview stages, including notes from different interviewers and performance on an assignment or test. Don’t look for perfect candidates; prioritize the most important criteria according to the position’s seniority level.
- They come unprepared. Later stages of the hiring process usually involve more complex questions. Candidates who are interested in joining your company will have researched your products/services and competition.
- They lack team spirit. Past experiences and hypothetical scenarios are good indicators of candidates’ behavior on a team. If they mention team projects as their personal accomplishments or struggle to give credit to other people, they may not be good team players.
- They show inconsistent behavior. If interviewers significantly disagree about a candidate’s skills and behaviors, this candidate mightn’t be authentic.
- They don’t have questions for you. Even if you are clear about the role, candidates who ask follow-up questions about next steps or their future team are looking forward to joining your company.
- They present last-minute limitations/requests. Candidates who mention potential deal breakers at this point of the hiring process don’t show responsible, professional behavior and are likely to create similar issues during your collaboration.