Questioning those who haven't looked for work in a few years poses special challenges in an interview. Once again, your best strategy lies in playing career counselor by aiming to discover what the individual is looking to gain by returning to work. The following will help you get inside an individual's head and understand the values driving the new job search:
- What's motivating your return to the workforce now? Are you looking to pick up where you left off, or would you rather have a more defined, limited role?
- What have you done since you last worked that would make you qualified to transfer your skills to our company and be selected for this opportunity?
- What other companies and what other job titles would you be interested in? What disciplines interest you, and which ones would you prefer to avoid?
Hiring individuals who are untested because they've been out of the job market for long periods of time is challenging. However, if evaluated and matched to a particular position correctly, these types of hires can be very successful.
The key traits discussed above will always remain key in candidate selection. Using the questions above will help you differentiate between those who were sidetracked in the recession through no fault of their own vs. those who may not indeed be first in class relative to your organization's needs at a given time.