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Corporate job openings bring in a myriad of resumes for each position. As a hiring manager, it can be overwhelming to shuffle through all of the applications and determine who to bring in for an interview.

Once you narrow down your list, it becomes critical to have an effective interview strategy in place to gauge your candidates. Here are steps you can take to separate the top candidates from the average ones during the hiring process.

Avoid Overused Questions.
Questions like “What is your dream job?” and “Where would you like to be in five years?” are ones that your candidates are going to rehearse beforehand. To delve deeper, try questions that provoke thought. For example, “Explain how you handled a recent problem at work,” can give you insight into their problem-solving abilities.

Look Ahead to the Future.
While the goal is to bring in someone who wants to stick around, it’s a good idea to ask candidates about their plans during the interview process. Ask questions like, “How will you help your team innovate over time?” and “How will you handle new technology as it arises?” These types of questions can let you know if your candidates are in it for the long haul while determining their ability to adapt.

Share Your Plan.
Outline what you want from an individual in this position, as well as how this position will benefit the company as a whole. Talk about what your goals for your team are and how this hired individual will help you reach your objectives. Depending on the responses from your candidates, you should get a better idea of who is willing to fill the gap and bring new skills to the table.

Look for Positivity and Energy.
You want the job candidate to show a sense of vibrancy and energy when he or she walks into the office. This can not only give you a sense of what he or she will bring to your team, but how enthusiastic the candidate is about the job opportunity.

Additionally, the candidate should be motivated enough to ask you a series of questions once you’ve asked your own. He or she will ideally have a genuine curiosity about what it’s like to handle day-to-day tasks in your office or with your coworkers. The questions a candidate asks can be indicative of whether he or she is not only interested in the job, but excelling in the position at your company.

Regardless of the number of job applications you receive for a position, it’s essential to find an individual who embodies these characteristics for the position. These tips can help you ensure that you identify the right candidate for your team and company. In the end, you’ll feel better about doing your homework beforehand as well.

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