“But the biggest mistake in the interview, was the gift you served up to the candidate,” I said.
“What gift was that?” Marianna asked.
“Open-ended questions,” I replied.
“But, I was taught to ask open-ended questions. I even read a book that said to ask open-ended questions,” she pushed back.
“Marianna, as the interviewer, you have a job to do. Your job is to gather specific data about the candidate related to the critical role requirements. When you ask an open-ended question, that question loses its purpose. When you ask an open-ended question, you are on a fishing expedition without a goal. The candidate is searching your face and fabricating a response that you want to hear. Open-ended questions give the candidate latitude to follow their own agenda, to create a narrative that may have little to do with the critical role requirements.”
Marianna sat quietly.
I continued. “Have you ever read a resume that was a bit enhanced? Have you ever read a resume that contained a little fluff? Have you ever read a resume that contained outright lies?” I stopped. “Open-ended questions give the candidate latitude to enhance their response, add a bit of fluff or create an outright lie. And you invited them to do it.” -Tom