Ineffective Interview Questions

Avoid closed-ended questions where candidates choose responses from options you provide.

Avoid closed-ended questions where candidates choose responses from options you provide.

A hiring manager must ask the right questions so she can select and hire the most qualified candidate. To accomplish this, you must plan interviews in advance, invite other managers to interview applicants -- those who will work with the new employee -- and avoid asking ineffective questions. Input obtained from ineffective questions is limited, and may cause you to choose the wrong person for a position. Instead, ask questions that prompt candidates to elaborate on responses about skills, experience and accomplishments.

Closed-Ended Questions

Closed-ended questions are those that can be answered by multiple-choice. If you ask job applicants if they like working in a team environment, the only responses are, "yes" and "no." Similarly, if you inquire whether someone likes close supervision or a less-structured format, the candidate's choice is still limited to some monosyllabic answer. Closed-ended responses are highly ineffective because there's no way to evaluate one applicant's responses from others, according to the University of Oklahoma. Ask open-ended questions instead to elicit more detailed information: "What type of experience do you have working on teams?" or "What is your preferred management style?"

"How Do You Feel" Questions

Asking candidates how they feel about something only elicits indirect and unreliable responses, according to recruiting expert Ross Clennett. Instead of understanding how candidates felt about facing challenging management decisions, for example, ask them how they responded to them. You can better understand how job applicants behaved in certain situations by avoiding the word "feel" in your questions. And behaviors provide you with more details from which to judge their talents. Leave the "feel" questions for the therapist.

Leading Questions

A leading question is ineffective because it creates a bias in the response. Candidates are more inclined to answer leading questions the way you want them to respond. For example, you may say, "We face a lot of pressure in meeting deadlines at the XYZ Company. How well do you handle pressure?" Naturally, candidates are going to respond favorably, as they probably won't get the job if they can't handle pressure. Ask how someone handles pressure instead for a more comprehensive response.

Illegal Questions

Asking illegal questions is also ineffective because candidates may refuse to answer them. They may also think you're inexperienced and daft for asking such questions. Illegal questions are those that pertain to age, gender, marital status, faith and nationality, according to "Forbes." It is also illegal to ask about military service, arrest records and disabilities that are unrelated to job performance.

 

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