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5 Interview Questions to Screen for Growth Potential

Growth Potential is defined as, “People who are capable of motivating themselves to improve their knowledge and understanding, so they can develop in their role.”

Career advancements are at the top of a candidate’s priority list. Hiring someone with growth potential means that your new employee will develop in the role and make it their own.

Not everyone has the capacity for growth, or the willingness to adapt and learn, which is why it’s essential that you screen for growth potential at every interview.

Employers can often be tempted to find candidates who have the same level of experience and knowledge as their current team members. However, hiring someone who will grow into the role will help earn their loyalty, reducing your staff turnover.

Remember: the cost of replacing an employee is about 1.5x their salary, making retention a key business growth driver.

In this blog, we’ll run through the top 5 questions you can ask to screen candidates for growth potential.

 The top 5 interview questions to screen for growth potential

1. “Tell me about the biggest career goal you’ve achieved.”

Candidates should be proud of what they’ve achieved!

By asking a positive question about their career goals, you give candidates to opportunity to express their motivations and drive. Give them time to elaborate on their successes, but if they don’t, feel free to dig a little deeper:

  • How did you contribute to this success?
  • What were the outcomes of your actions?
  • Why are you proud of what you achieved?

Candidates with growth potential will be aspirational; their answers will centre around being proud of their achievements and wanting to set goals and achieve them in your business. They’ll be goal-orientated and willing to go the extra mile.

2. “Describe a time when a problem occurred but your manager was unavailable. What did you do?”

Did the candidate use their initiative and explore options before making a final decision?

Every business has its fair share of problems that need to be overcome. People with growth potential will tackle problems head on, using their initiative to find solutions rather than waiting for a manager to resurface.

You want answers to be positive, to demonstrate a willingness to step up and take control of a situation when required.

3. “What would motivate you to make a move from your current role?”

The candidates should signal that they are more invested in growth opportunities and interested in being challenged.

Perhaps their previous role wasn’t going anywhere, or they weren’t developing as quickly as they’d like. People with growth potential are often highly intelligent and don’t like to have their skills wasted.

4. “Do you often ask for direct feedback? If so, why?”

Do they ask for feedback regularly? This is an indication that the candidate is interested in self-improvement.

If they answer, “no”, ask them why. It might be that previous workplace culture didn’t encourage feedback; it’s important that you learn how the candidate prefers to have their feedback provided to them, as acknowledging this will help them to feel more comfortable as and when feedback is provided.

5. “Have you ever volunteered to grow your knowledge, as opposed to being directed to do so?”

The candidate should express an eagerness to learn and expand their knowledge.

Do they seek out new opportunities? Do they want to be challenged?

Those with growth potential will almost always volunteer for (or directly request) trainings, experiences and more. They’ll want to get involved with meetings and help push the business forward.

Need help booking more interviews?

At Absolute Personnel, we specialise in matching the perfect candidates with their ideal businesses.

We meet every single candidate that we provide to our clients, meaning you can rest assured that you’re interviewing the best of the best.

Let’s talk about your vacant positions. Get in touch with our specialist recruitment team today.

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