This is the fifth in our series, Six Sins in the Hiring Interview.
- Missing important (and obvious) clues during the interview
- Head trash, the distraction of the stereotype in the back of your head
- The fatal decision in the first three minutes of the interview
- Losing control, losing your head, losing your wallet
- Asking the wrong (stupid) interview questions
- Getting beat in the paint
This series is a prelude to our Hiring Talent Summer Camp.
Asking the Wrong Questions
We ask the wrong questions in interviews because those are the questions we had to answer when we were a candidate. What goes around, comes around.
- Where would you like to be in five years? (the all-time stupidest question)
- What do you think about teamwork?
- Do you work with a sense of urgency?
- If you were an animal, what would you be?
There are hundreds more. But what’s wrong with these questions. They seem purposeful. Does this person have a vision for themselves (five years)? Would they make a good team member? Will they work quickly and efficiently? And if they were an animal, (well, that question is just plain stupid).
The problem isn’t the data you are trying to uncover. The problem is asking future-based, hypothetical or leading questions. Future based questions cannot be verified. Hypothetical questions are contrived and push the person to guess what you are thinking. Leading questions create a platform for the candidate to make up a meaningful stretch of the imagination. All of these questions encourage the candidate to make up stuff and lie to you.
There are specific questions you can ask that capture discrete pieces of real, verifiable, meaningful data. Let’s to back to vision, team and efficiency.
- Tell me about a time when you had to create a plan for a project?
- Tell me about a time when a project required a high level of teamwork?
- Tell me about a project that had a tight time deadline?
These questions all have purpose, and will get you discrete pieces of real, verifiable, meaningful data.
Our Hiring Talent Summer Camp begins next Monday, June 18, 2012. It’s online, and full of great questions to ask in the interview.