QUESTIONS TO ASK AND NOT TO ASK IN AN INTERVIEW
After sending out job descriptions, reviewing tons of resumes, and completing a series of phone interviews, the next step is doing the face-to-face interview.
In my years of experience as an organizational psychologist and an executive coach, I have observed that HR leaders and practitioners have various ways of doing face to face interviews. Doing the face-to-face interview is a traditional way for hiring managers to get to know the candidates’ personality as well as their skills and qualifications. It allows the employer and the candidate to discuss the position in greater detail.
When doing the interview, here are some things which I tell hiring managers to always look out for.
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
I always tell them the types of interview questions and their differences. There are various questions which a hiring manager can ask during the interview. The type of question depends on what kind of information he or she would like to get from the candidate. Questions are meant for a hiring manager to know an applicant’s personality, ability, and behavioral qualities. There are open-ended questions that could help the candidate give in-depth answers, hypothetical questions that assess an applicant’s critical thinking skills, stress interview questions that determine how a person reacts under increased pressure, and rapid fire questions to test a candidate’s’ response time. These types of questions allow the hiring manager to assess the candidate in greater detail.
WHAT NOT TO ASK – Remember ARMS
While these questions could offer different sources of information, I always tell HR managers and leaders that there are questions which should never be asked in an interview. These are questions related to age, religion, marital status, and sexual preferences. These questions impose too much bias and are highly personal, so they should never be asked. To always keep this in mind, I advise them to use the acronym ARMS.
Here are examples:
A – Age
How old are you?
Do you think age is a hindrance to working efficiently?
R – Religion
What is your religion?
What is your religious view on …?
M – Marital Status
Are you single or are you married?
S – Sexual Preferences
What are your sexual preferences?
These questions are too sensitive and should never be asked in an interview.
A GOOD METHOD TO ASSESS A CANDIDATE – Remember STAR
The STAR method is a good way to ask and answer questions based on a candidate’s resume. I ask them to use this method to help them get information about an applicant’s previous work experience. It clearly outlines what they did in their previous roles and duties.
Here are examples:
S – Situation
What is a situation you faced in your previous job?
T – Task
What tasks were involved in that experience?
A – Action
What actions did you take?
R – Result
What were the results of those actions?
The STAR method will allow the hiring manager to get answers related to personality, behavior, skills and capabilities.
Remember that an effective interview can help a company find the best candidate quickly while weeding out the applicants who are not qualified. When the interview is done smoothly and effectively, hiring managers can spend less time searching for candidates and will fill the position right the first time. They could get productive results. I shared these insights to HR practitioners and found that they were able to improve their productivity, and they were able to hire the best people in their team for just a short time frame.
One last note. As the interview ends, I advise that HR leaders should ensure that things are wrapped up professionally. Ask the applicant if they have questions and if there was anything which was not discussed during the interview. Tell what they can expect next such as a phone call or a follow-up email. Also, do not set their expectations too high just in case something comes up. It would also be nice to give them a business card and shake their hand before parting ways.
Create a powerful day!
Cherry A. Collier, Ph.D., MCC, CNLPMC, RCC, CPCC
Chief Collaboration Officer, Master Certified Executive Coach & Inclusion Strategist
Personality Matters Incorporated provides many services including coaching, leadership, and organizational development. It is Personality Matters, Inc.’s goal to help facilitate the necessary resources and tools to help individuals and organizations grow to achieve their goals.
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