Interviewing candidates is no easy task, despite what many hiring managers may think. Some think odd questions such as “How many cows are in Canada?” are “conversational gambits” says Stephenie Overman, contributor to CNN Money/Fortune.
“Believing they’ve reached a career level where they have been magically imbued with the gift of giving a good job interview, such managers wing it and fail to prepare questions that will reveal the best potential employees,” adds Overman.
The purpose of an interview is to not only see if a candidate can do the job and do it successfully, but also to get to know the real person behind the interview persona. So hiring manager’s need more than just the tell me about yourself variety.
You need behavioral questions such as “Give me an example of a time when…” to get a real-life example, and the opportunity to ask the candidate for more detail. “The way a person reacted to a past situation may be an indication of what he or she will do in the future,” says Overman.
What are Effective Interview Questions?
Overman shares examples of effective interview questions from Paul Falcone, author of 96 Great Interview Questions to Ask Before You Hire:
- Walk me through the progression in your career leading me up to what you do now on a day-to-day basis.
- What makes you stand out among your peers?
- What criteria are you using in selecting your next employer, including the industries you’re considering, company criteria, and the roles and titles that you’re pursuing?
- If you were to accept a position with us today, how would you describe that to a prospective employer five years from now in terms of your career development and longer-term goals?
Falcone suggest asking the sort of questions that “reveal a candidate’s level of career introspection.” Ask leading and open-ended questions that inspire candidates to talk about their past experiences, projects they’ve worked on, failures and achievements, and to really get a feel for whether they can do the job well and fit your company culture.
The last thing hiring managers want to do is make a bad hire. Aside from the financial burden, it can also have a negative effect on productivity and team morale.
What odd or interesting questions have you been asked in a job interview?