5 awful interview questions. (And what to replace them with)

Posted by Jason G. Sanders in Interviewing, Recruiting, Video | 0 comments

Have you ever asked an interview question that you wished you hadn’t?  Or, have you ever found yourself distracted and needed to hurry and ask a question….any question?! Are new at interviewing and have a list of uninspiring, standard-issue questions?

We have all found ourselves asking stock questions at some point. In fact, it’s necessary to keep a few on hand to keep things rolling. But, we need to avoid questions that don’t give us useful information, or worse turn our best candidates off. The good news is that with a little preparation, you can modify your standby questions into ones that provide you with better information and create good impressions on your candidates. Check out the list below, or check out these YouTube videos for more depth.

Here’s the list of clunkers for you non-video watchers!

  1. What is your greatest weakness?
  2. Where do you see yourself in five years?
  3. Why should I hire you?
  4. Why do you want to work here?
  5. Tell me about yourself.

These questions are unlikely to give you the information you are listening for. The first four reduce rapport, create distance and foster an unhealthy power dynamic. This will turn off your best candidates and produce well-practiced answers that leave you flat. The fifth question tends to draw out long, boring stories and responses that make you look at your watch and hold back a yawn.

Instead of those five, try these:

  1. Tell me about a mistake you made, how you resolved it and what you learned?
  2. How would you like to develop professionally?
  3. What skills or traits do you have that would make you most valuable to any organization?
  4. What sort of position or organization would be the best fit for you?
  5. Tell me about your current work situation.

If you’d like to hear the reasoning behind why these are better questions, you’re still going to need to check out the YouTube videos.

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