I get questions about interviewing all the time. Something that comes up over and over again is how to figure out if an employee really wants the job. We all know that someone who needs work will say whatever it takes to land the gig. We need to come up with some strategies that filter out the noise.

Tip #1: Relaxed conversation will yield truth.
Interviewing is a stressful activity. The more we relax, the more likely our candidate will drop his/her guard. You need to get a candidate off of the prepared course. Anyone with an Internet connection can look up standard interview techniques and even get a list of some questions currently in fashion. Yet we all stick to the same relative script. The next time you are preparing for an interview, change things up.

Tip #2: Take the road less traveled.
Don’t have them walk you through their resume. Try and ask questions about subjects not listed. If they are writing about incredible accomplishments, ask about the worst things that happened while they worked at a particular company. They might try to throw you off with a non-answer but don’t settle; have them expound on the biggest challenges of every job listed.

Tip #3: Ask about the big picture.
Once that difficult derailing is finished, ask about a life plan. Not just the old, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Really find out about their hopes and dreams. When those are uncovered, you can ask how the job you are offering fits into that picture. Someone without a plan of any sort is a person to beware of hiring because their head could be turned at any moment by something more. More exciting, more money, more interesting.

Tip #4: Make sure it’s a good fit…for the company AND the candidate.
The goal of your interview should be to make sure the person you hire fits into your company and is worth your time and training. Make sure that a job with your company is something that will make their life better. And finally talk with them about their life’s plan. Your job should help them improve in some way; not just be a placeholder while they wait for something better to come along.