You Won’t Hire Great People Asking These Interview Questions

It doesn’t matter how often or how loudly people like me rant about the currently talent-favoring employment arena. It doesn’t matter how much I say “You can just as easily drive people away with bad recruiting practices, as pull them in!”

It seems that there is something in the human psyche that impels us to act like idiots when we interview job-seekers. All you have to do is sit down in the interviewer’s chair and suddenly horrendous things start gushing out of your mouth!

“With so many talented candidates, why should we hire you?”

“What’s your greatest weakness – or personal failing, if you want to put it that way?”

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

“If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be?”

You interview job-seekers in order to make a business deal. It’s a business arrangement! You aren’t conducting psychotherapy. You aren’t planning to marry this person. What gives you the right to ask intrusive personal questions like “What’s your greatest weakness?”

Nothing gives you that right — but for two or three generations we’ve heard and seen interviewing done this way, so we figure it’s fine and dandy. We’ve grown up with the notion than a lowly job-seeker has no juice in the hiring equation, and that the employer has all the juice.

That’s false!

Great employees who know what they bring to the hiring process can get good jobs with employers who don’t treat them like dirt. If you want to hire great people, stop asking these idiotic job interview questions!

Here are some questions you can ask a job applicant instead:

“I can only imagine how busy you are. What got you to come to the interview today — something about our company, or this job, or something else? I’d love to hear about that.”

“When you think about this position what issues spring out as the most critical to address or the greatest learning curves for you?”

“From the outside, as it were, what do you think our company is doing right and what are we doing wrong?”

“If we were to come to an agreement and I were to extend a job offer, what would need to be in that job offer in order for you to accept it?”

It’s a new day in the talent market. If you want sheep, they are everywhere and you can easily find them and hire them. If you want sharp, capable people with ideas and healthy self-esteem, it’s past time to modernize your recruiting practices — starting with the interview questions you ask!

This article was written by Liz Ryan from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. SmartRecruiters is the hiring success platform to find and hire great people.


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