Hiring Wisdom: Cross These Questions Off Your Interview List

Illustration by istockphoto.com
Illustration by istockphoto.com

The following questions let the applicant take control of the interview because they ask only for opinions rather than verifiable facts:

  1. Tell me about yourself. This is the gateway to just about anything the applicant wants to tell you about why you should hire them. It lets the applicant talk about what they want to talk about and not what you need to know.
  2. Why should I hire you? This question gives the applicant a chance to paint a picture of being wildly successful on the job and, again, control the flow of the interview. What prepared applicant would not have an answer to this question?
  3. What are you strengths? Are you really going to believe what the applicant tells you? How do you plan to verify these claims? Again, it gives control over to the applicant.
  4. What are your weaknesses? Every applicant knows the trick is to make a negative seem positive. Example: “I tend to work long hours and my co-workers often resent the example I set.”
  5. Why did you leave your last job? You may get a truthful answer some of the time, but not from the candidate who was let go for not being a team player or stealing.

This was originally published on Mel Kleiman’s Humetrics blog.

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Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. He has been the president of Humetrics since 1976 and has over 30 years of practical experience, research, consulting and professional speaking work to his credit. Contact him at mkleiman@humetrics.com.