Top 10 Questions for Veteran Candidates

#1 How has your experience helped you improve as a professional?

This question has a double benefit in finding out how the candidate’s work experience and qualifications meet the job criteria and how much improvement the candidate has made in his tenure.


#2 What would have made you stay back at your previous jobs?

An indirect way of asking the candidate the reason for leaving their current or previous job, it helps evaluating the candidate's maturity and their needs and expectations


#3 How would your boss or peers describe you?

Although this seems like a usual question, the response that experienced candidates give will reveal a lot about the candidate’s confidence, honesty, and humility


#4 How do you handle office gossip or politics?

Apt question for candidates applying for senior leadership, and people-centric roles, follow-up questions and specific instances of the impact of office politics throws light on their maturity and inclination


#5 How did you handle differences of opinion with your seniors or peers? Can you share some examples?

The candidate’s emotional intelligence, assertiveness, and work ethic are shown here as a great deal of courage is required to openly express differences of opinions with one’s authority figures


#6 Did you coach or mentor anyone? Can you share the experience?

Coaching or mentoring another person needs knowledge, patience, empathy, clarity of thought, and good communication; a good coach or mentor also takes ownership of how their mentee performs


#7 Did you ever get negative feedback? What was it about and what did you do about it? / How do you handle criticism?

Experienced employees or leaders are subject to criticism more often since expectations from them are quite high and how they handle it is a clear sign of their emotional intelligence and maturity


#8 How do you manage your work-life balance? If you are a leader, how do you help your team strike a work-life balance?

This indicates the ability of a candidate to plan, prioritize, manage time, be organized and efficient (possible only with enough knowledge and skills) and have empathy (for their team)


#9 Have you ever been assigned a task or project that you had no experience with or were not familiar with?

Many senior employees are given new and challenging tasks with this question helping assess their  problem-solving abilities and openness to ask for help/advice


#10 Tell me about a time you predicted a problem with a stakeholder. How did you prevent it from escalating?

This reflects problem-solving abilities and creativity to improve existing processes or workflows, as anticipating problems, finding solutions, and communication with stakeholders are expected of experienced employees


To find best emotionally balanced and culturally aligned experienced talent for your organization, through a better understanding of their ability to work and lead in diverse and stressful environments with accountability and empathy, read

“10 questions to ask your next veteran candidate”

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