7 interview questions to test your potential employee's job commitment

For employers, surely one of the most frustrating things when hiring is having to deal with an uncommitted and time-wasting candidate. Candidates ghosting employers is becoming a big problem, increasing by 10-20% over the past year alone. What’s more, according to a recent LinkedIn report, 95% of recruiters say they’ve experienced ghosting and a full 40% of candidates believe it’s reasonable to ghost an employer.

The majority of employers will have come across this type of individual: the ones that seem really interested in the role, say all of the right things and then at the last moment, when you offer them the job, they decide they’re not interested. It could be for completely legitimate reasons: they may have been given a counter-offer; they could have got cold feet at the last minute but some can’t always even provide a reasonable answer as to why the sudden change of mind.

It can be incredibly difficult when this happens, particularly if at the end of a lengthy recruitment campaign where you are faced with having to start the search from the beginning again, which could cause issues for the department you are trying to hire into, or raising the question in the market as to why the business is hiring again – are there issues internally?

If you have experienced this issue the following could be particularly useful to include in the interview process to reduce this risk and eliminate potential time-wasters from your shortlist:


1) “What did you like about your last job?”

You are unlikely to want a candidate who says “everything” (why are you leaving?) or “nothing” (why so negative?). An in-between of the two with a balanced answer that reflects some of things the new role will offer should be a more positive indicator of potential long-term fit, such as “I loved the rest of my team. We all got on really well and there was a lovely atmosphere, but the challenge of the work available had diminished due to restructuring”.

2) “What aspects of this role do you think you’ll like? And which will you dislike?”

This is a potentially tough question for the candidates who hardly want to start the interview process by being negative about the role on offer. However, it will give you some insight into how much the candidate will actually enjoy the role once they start, and whether they understand the role they’ve applied for.

If they’re motivated about the aspects of the role they’ll be doing often then this is a good starting point for them wanting to commit to the role. If they are not, and if they say these are the aspects they enjoy less then longer-term commitment is doubtful unless there are changes to the role that you can accommodate.

Ideally they will be positive about all aspects of the role, and show particular interest in the aspects that will form their main responsibilities. They will show they understand that there are some parts of the role that they may not love, but that they are prepared to make the best of these also. It also shows that they actually understand the role and what it entails




3) “Why do you think this job would be different/better than your current job?”

This question should reveal why the job candidate is actually looking for a new job in the first place. They must have a reason for wanting to leave and they must think that your company would be better for some reason. Perhaps they’re just looking for more money or a promotion, but why at your company? What made you stand out? Or are you just one of the ones who got back to them?

You want a job candidate who has researched the role and your company and who is genuinely interested in becoming a part of it.

If they can’t give any reason, then there’s a big chance they’re not really that bothered; perhaps they’re just looking for any job they can get; maybe they attended your interview on a whim or perhaps they are frustrated by lack of recognition/pay increases at their current employer – and could then be open to a counter-offer.

They also may be looking for something that is missing in their current company, but that you can’t offer either. Chances are that they may be on the look out for another role not long after joining your company. By getting to the root of their motivation for applying to your role you can ensure that you will be able to meet their expectations.

4) “If we offer you the job, how long do you think you’ll stay here?”

You aren’t looking for someone who sees this role as a short-term stop gap until they leave because they have found a more suitable role, or perhaps have plans to travel the world in the next 12 months.

If they are able to come up with an answer along the lines of “I’m looking to settle down somewhere where I can see a future for myself and unless circumstances change, I’d like to think your company is the right one to offer me that.”

If at best a non-committal response or body language is telling you that they aren’t comfortable answering this question then you may want to dig deeper to understand how serious they are about this role and are they genuinely passionate about wanting this. Is their body language excited and passionate or resigned and nonchalant?

You’re looking for someone who is may or may not be interested in progression, but who is also ready to settle down and stick with your company.

5) “What do you know about our company?”

Another way to test a candidate’s commitment is to see how well they prepared for the interview. A committed, passionate and proactive job candidate will have taken a lot of time, prior to the interview to find out more about the company. If your candidate gives a generic answer that doesn’t really tell you anything about your business (that isn’t immediately obvious) then it’s pretty obvious they’ve not done their research, are they really passionate about getting the job?

6) “What did you like or dislike about our website?”

This digs further into their research and give you an idea of how committed they are to making this career move to your company. Alternative questions could be along the lines of:

“With our ethos in mind, tell me why you think you’d be a good fit for our business?”

“What are the differences between our company and your current/past company?”

“Did you read about {insert a popular piece of industry news} this week?”




7) “Do you have any questions for us?”

This is a very important question to ask before finishing the interview. It gives the candidate a chance to ask any questions they have prepared before the interview, or that they have thought of during the interview (if not already discussed). As well as helping to manage their expectations and understanding of the role, it also shows how committed they are if they are already thinking about how they would undertake the role and the challenges they are likely to face. Good questions could be:

“Could you give me any examples of projects I will be working on?”

“What would success/great achievement look like for me if you were conducting my appraisal in 12 months time?”

“What training opportunities are available for staff?”

For further interview tips, or to discuss any current or forthcoming recruitment challenges please contact the Sammons Pensions Recruitment Team.

Back to News & Blog
Contact us