One Interview Question You Need to Ask: Culture

Most hiring managers are familiar with the standard advice pertaining to interview questions.  Seek information about what the candidate can do for your organization, avoid unduly personal or illegal questions, and consider both the content of the candidate’s answers and his or her nonverbal communication.

Lost in the sea of advice about interviewing, however, is one crucial concept that could “make or break” your legal department’s relationship with a new candidate.  During the interview, hiring managers should touch on a key question of company culture: How do we gather information to assess our employees’ work, and what do we do with it when we get it?

The Question Candidates Won’t Ask

Despite the importance of knowing what, why, and how their work will be evaluated, many candidates don’t ask about the process.  Many candidates aren’t aware that they can ask, and a handful do not realize the importance of understanding the criteria on which their work is analyzed.

By providing this information up front, your legal department improves its chances of finding a candidate who works well in your company culture, who prioritizes his or her work appropriately, and who is primed to identify the issues, tasks, and goals your organization deems “important” and to strive for them.

Who, What, When, How, and Why

When providing candidates with an overview of the evaluation process, briefly address each of five key questions:

  • Who evaluates my work?
  • What criteria or accomplishments are considered?
  • When, or how often, are reviews performed?
  • How is my work weighed, considered, or ranked?
  • Why does the company evaluate its employees in this particular way?

Each of the five questions provides key information candidates can use to judge whether they are the right “fit” for the department and its culture.  The final question, “Why?”, also clarifies the department’s larger goals.  A legal department’s particular evaluation methods and criteria are typically chosen to drive the department toward a larger goal, whether it is greater productivity, fewer costs, or a third objective.  Answering “why?” tells candidates what the “big picture” is, clarifying the focus of company culture.

At Assigned Counsel, our experienced staffing partners can help you find the talent you need.  Contact us today.

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