The 3 Worst Interview Questions to Ask Candidates

Female Executive Being Interviewed by HR; Business photo created by yanalya - www.freepik.comThe job interview process is a unique dance. Candidate, recruiter, and potential employer are engaged in a delicate waltz, with each party having a clear motivation yet none wanting to sacrifice leverage should the discussion lead to a partnership. One way in which the interviewer – be it the employer directly or by proxy through the recruiter – often jeopardizes the process is by insisting on asking types of questions that lack value and frustrate candidates. Below are 3 bad questions that can ruin a candidate interview:

  1. What Would You Say Are Your. . .? – Nothing positive comes from framing a question with this preamble. It defaults the candidate into a canned response and gives you nothing that offers insight into whether this person has the skills to meet the job responsibilities. Savvy interviewers will spot this lack of preparation a mile away and realize your company may not have its act together. Be more precise.
  2. I See that You’ve . . . – Sideline sports reporters are some of the most guilty examples of this poor interviewing technique. Leading on the interviewee not with a question but a statement, while not actually asking a question is an open-ended trip to nowhere. The statement makes you look like you have no idea what you’re asking, as if you didn’t prepare, and the person on the receiving end is left in a confused state trying to figure out your expectations. Both parties end up flying blind, and the result is nothing of value.
  3. Where Do You See Yourself in X Number of Years? – You’re asking the candidate to speculate on the trajectory of a position they have yet to be offered. Unless you’re filling a role in an industry with an extremely well-defined career path, you’re setting the stage for the interviewee to either stumble and say something awkward, or turn the question back on you, which can give the impression you’re unprepared. The future is unwritten. Asking the candidate to guess gives you no information about their ability to successfully fill the role.

Perhaps it goes without saying, but it’s also critical that you avoid asking questions that may be considered illegal. Personal information about age, race, familial relations, and so on are off limits.

In today’s higher level job market, candidates have the upper hand. When you find an applicant that can improve your company’s results, handling the interview process correctly is imperative. Avoiding these 3 bad questions can better position your organization to land the candidate.

To learn more about finding the best candidates in your market, contact us today.

About Key Corporate Services

Key Corporate Services specializes in executive headhunting, with expertise in the industrial chemicals, pharma & biotech, food ingredient, finance and accounting, and manufacturing and engineering industries.