There are an endless amount of questions that an interviewer can ask a job applicant. But let’s ask you a couple questions first – Are these questions you’re asking pertinent to the open position at hand? Are they beneficial in collecting true information regarding your potential employee? If you’re asking the following questions, then the answer is most likely no:
- What’s your greatest weakness? – Everyone has weaknesses. A weakness is something you could be better at doing than you currently are and of course we can all strive to be better! This question can be intrusive and personal and doesn’t provide an answer that helps with the hiring decision.
- Where do you see yourself in five years? – This question can sometimes be a trap as interviewers want to determine if you’re a responsible adult with firm plans rather than a “child” who doesn’t have their mind made up yet. Life isn’t set in stone, so the next five years shouldn’t have to be either.
- What’s your greatest failure so far? – Goes right along with “your greatest weakness.”
- With all the talented candidates, why should we hire you? – As the interviewer, you’re the one that knows the ins and outs of the position so you’re the one who should know what to look for in a candidate. Practical questions should be asked about the work that is performed in the role in order to assess the candidate’s suitability for the job.
- What would your last boss say about you? – The integrity of their last boss isn’t at stake here, it’s about the applicant. Not all bosses are created equal and not every employee goes to work to please their boss, but to do their job and do it well.
These five questions have been a part of many interviews and also, whether you mean to or not, emphasize the unhealthy viewpoint that employers are mighty and job applicants are trivial.
So get rid of these out-of-date questions and replace them with these smart, thought provoking and realistic questions to use in your next interview:
- What can I tell you about this job or the company? – The candidate’s responses/questions will tell you a lot about their attitude level, their understanding of the role and business world in general, their priorities and their preparedness for the interview.
- How does this role fit into your career plans? – This will help determine if the candidate is just simply looking for a job (which may fit some roles) or if they’re serious about the position and their future with the company.
- As you think about yourself performing this job, what do you imagine will be the biggest challenges as you get started? – This question will make it clear if the applicant thought through the job requirements and their abilities and experiences to fill the role adequately.
- From what you understand about the job, which of your experiences at work or somewhere else do you feel will help you in this job? – This is a great way to obtain some evidence that the applicant can handle the position.
- If you take this position, how do you expect to tackle the new job and the projects we’re discussing? In a general way, what will be your plan of attack? – By asking this question you’ll get some insight as to how the candidate’s mind works and processes their potential new role.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The information contained in this post, and any attachments, is not intended and should not be misconstrued as legal advice. You should contact your employment, benefits or ERISA attorney for legal direction.