The one question most interviewers ask that can result in your offer being rejected


So you have spent weeks interviewing, managing everyone’s diary, getting people to fly in to see your ideal candidate and now you’re hoping everything is sorted; then you make an offer only for it to be turned down. Now you have the choice of hiring second choice talent or starting the whole process all over again with no guarantee of finding anyone as good.

One way we see a client finding themselves in this sort of situation is by the questions asked at interviews and in particular one question – How much money do you want?

Now what’s wrong with asking this sort of question? Surely as the client you need to know how much money you need to pay the candidate? Absolutely, you need this information, but putting the candidate on the spot in the middle of an interview is not the way to find this out.

Let’s think about what we do by asking a candidate this sort of question in the middle of an interview; one second we’re all relaxed, things are going well, we’re all hitting it off. Then we put the candidate on the spot and give them 5 seconds to name a figure that will set his/her and his/her family’s financial future for next few years. That’s pressure!

Inevitably what happens is the candidate gives you a figure that they want not what he or she is willing to accept. What he or she wants is always likely to be higher than it would be at a later date when we are working on your behalf to determine what they will accept. If you have ever advertised and sold something, let’s say a second hand car, then this idea should be clear. In your advert you put the price you ideally want but there will be a lower figure that you would be willing to accept.

So when you ask the question, you receive a higher number than you would normally and now you have two choices. You have to go back to the powers that be and come up with more money to secure the candidate or you run the risk of insulting the candidate with a low offer and hurt your chances of getting your offer accepted.

Your recruitment consultant will be able to guide you on what the candidate is looking for prior to interview and also what they would be willing to accept after the interview, so you can make your best and most appropriate offer that has the highest chance of securing the candidate of your choice. Resist the temptation of asking how much money they want and you will greatly increase your chances of securing the candidates you want for your team.

BTG Recruitment are experts in Accountancy and Finance Recruitment, for advice on securing top talent please call 0115 960 7000 and one of our expert team will be happy to assist you.

Written by Matt Finch, Managing Director of BTG Nottingham.

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