It’s time to stop eliminating candidates by asking the wrong questions. Asking the right questions can give you valuable insight into a candidate’s experience, but the wrong questions can turn jobseekers off and even cross ethical lines. How do you gauge the questions you’re asking? Let’s look at three categories: the right questions to ask, the wrong ones, and how to handle questions in interviews with several rounds.
Avoid Losing Candidates With Bad Interview Questions
Questions that are appropriate for an interview center around the job and the candidate’s ability to perform. They take preparation. Think through what specific skills the ideal candidate would have. This can cover soft or hard skills. The right questions will provide more than a “yes” or “no” answer. Ask for examples of past performance or skills. For example, “Can you tell me about a time you were able to resolve a customer’s conflict?”. You can also ask questions regarding how they will fit company culture or how they respond to specific challenges. Even if a candidate doesn’t have exact experience, ask questions that will help uncover transferable skills.
Overly personal questions are not appropriate for interviews. Not only that, but asking questions about a candidate’s family plans, ethnicity, or marital status can cross the line. Be careful not to cross into territory that could be discriminatory on any level. It’s important that you approach candidates professionally. Additionally, the wrong questions can simply be a matter of eliminating a good candidate by making an assumption. For example, a candidate may have a degree in one area, but have really thorough experience in another. Asking questions that are too narrowly focused could cause you to miss important insights. Ask a variety of questions to get a feel for what the candidate enjoys and what they bring to the table as a well-rounded person versus the traditional standard questions that don’t give you any information beyond what is said in their resume.
Questions for Interview Rounds
If you have multiple rounds set up for candidates you may be wondering what to ask each round. This process should focus on moving the candidate further into the circle and becoming more specific as the process unfolds. For example, the first round can cover more basic qualifications and who the candidate is. The second round can include meeting co-workers and asking specified questions relating to applicable work situations. The second and third rounds are a good time to ask questions that will reveal what a candidate values and how they will fit into the company culture. Each step should narrow it down until the right hire becomes clear.
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