Everyone has regrets, but after a bad hire, those “should have asked” questions pile up quickly! While typically an employer thinks ahead of time what questions they want to ask someone in the interview process for a leadership role, hindsight can be painfully accurate. Here are some questions we as recruiters have heard employers muttering to themselves downstream from a bad hire:

  1. What else should we know about you?
  2. When we talk to your references, what issues might they raise about you that you would want us to hear your side first?
  3. What have you done for self-improvement in the last five years?
  4. What have we not asked that we should have?
  5. How does this job fit in your career development? What experiences have most prepared you for this next step?
  6. For a few people, Emotional Quotient (sometimes defined as the capacity of individuals to recognize their own, and other people’s emotions) is natural but for most it needs to be honed and developed. When we ask the direct reports from your last job to rate your EQ, on a scale of 1 to 10, how might they respond? What score would we hear if we asked colleagues from your first job? How would you explain your growth in exercising your EQ?
  7. Thinking back on the bosses you’ve had, what were the characteristics you liked and disliked? Why?
  8. What kind of tasks should your superiors not give you, either those you don’t enjoy or areas at which you do not excel?
  9. Why might this be the right job for you? What concerns do you have about it?
  10. As you look back on your last three jobs, please list several employees you have mentored and what has happened to them since.