Thanks to the Internet, applicants are better prepared than ever for interviews — which means HR pros need to work harder to find questions that candidates haven’t already memorized the answers to.
Here are three interview questions you need to get rid of, and three you can start using instead, courtesy of The Resumator.
- Tell me about yourself. The most innocuous question is also the most boring — applicants won’t tell you anything you didn’t already know from their resume or cover letter. Why waste your time and theirs?
Instead, use: What’s the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to you?
If you keep things interesting, you’ll get some interesting answers. The applicant’s response needn’t be related to work either — if a candidate says the birth of his son was the most exciting thing to happen to him, that’s a great indication that he’s loyal and committed.
- What’s your five-year plan? Here’s a questions that’s supposed to get at what an applicant’s ambitions are, but in reality has no good answer.
Instead, use: When you retire, what do you want your job title to be?
Ditching the time frame allows candidate to open up and talk about what pushes them to succeed — which is what you really want to know.
- Talk about a time you overcame an obstacle. While behavioral questions have become more and more common in recent years, they still aren’t good at one thing: Figuring out how an applicant would react in the specific job you’re looking to fill.
Instead, use: I’m going to describe a problem you might have to handle as an employee here. How would you solve it?
Using a real-life example helps put the candidate’s response in a context you can relate to, as well as give you insights into the applicant’s abilities and skills.