Without reading a job applicant’s full biography, it’s always a challenge to gauge the true depth of their work experience. The credentials listed on their resume give you an entry point, but they are too cursory to really tell which experiences are real and which are fabricated.

Moving past the obfuscation found on most resumes is one of the major reasons we conduct job interviews. When you need to really determine if a candidate has what it takes to thrive in your organization, ask the following questions.

What is Your Greatest Professional Achievement?

Experience only counts in as much as it produces results. Candidates that are asked this question and then give evasive or underwhelming answers are often trying to hide the fact that they do what is asked of them and nothing more.

What is Your Greatest Professional Failure?

When it comes to valuable experience, failure is as important as success. Candidates that can answer this question honestly and humbly reveal areas where their experience may have been deficient. It is up to you to determine if they learned from their failures and got stronger, or used them as an excuse to avoid professional/personal growth.

Where do You Wish You Had More Education?

The answer to this question suggests which skills and responsibilities the candidate believes they are weakest in. That revelation tells you volumes about their professional experience, because  it suggests responsibilities that they have struggled with in the past.

What Skill Are You Most Qualified to Teach?

This is the converse of the previous question. Whatever skill the candidate identifies is likely to be one where they have extensive experience. Be sure to ask why they feel they are qualified to teach it.

What Makes You the Ideal Candidate for This Job?

This is a boilerplate interview question, but when the answer is interpreted correctly, it can speak volumes about what a candidate has and has not done professionally. If the candidate falls back on stock, impersonal answers, it suggests they haven’t done as much as they’ve claimed. If they can give you specific, direct answers, it suggests they are confident enough in their skills to start working tomorrow.

After the interview, be sure you consult their references, conduct a background check, and confirm their claims about their education. These are firsthand sources that can tell you a lot about whether a candidate’s experience is true or false, exaggerated or understated, and appropriate or irrelevant. Give your candidates the benefit of the doubt, but don’t hesitate to take their claims with a grain of salt. To find the talent you need, work with the recruitment specialists at MedPartners HIM.