How to Ask the Best Interview Questions

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How bad are typical interviews? Three examples for ya:
  1. Interviewer Bella: So why do you want this job? Interviewee Freddy: I want to discover myself.

  2. Interviewer Bella: So why do you want this job? Interviewee Sally: I want to discover myself.

  3. Interviewer Bella: So why do you want this job? Interviewee Patrick: I want to discover myself.
Blah.

Most interview questions suck.

Most interview questions reveal nothing about the the person's work habits, values, and capabilities. What should you do instead? Ask them questions that they couldn't possibly have prepared for -- questions that demonstrate what the person would do in Situation A, Situation B, Situation, C, etc. Here's how that will help you:
  1. Eliminate BS answers.

    "What's a flaw that you have?" Too bad most colleges have made such conventional questions ineffective. That is, they've prepared their students to twist typical questions into something positive. Example of how someone would describe their imperfections?

    I'm too much of a perfectionist. I always strive for the best in everything -- and sometimes -- my all-nighters can take a toll on me. (...And more baloney.)

  2. Know how they'll deal in certain situations.

    If Patrick says he wouldn't call Customer Timmy back because it's not his job -- and you value team-wide responsibility -- you know that raises a flag.

How do you find superstars?

To find the best people, you must know how they work. Asking questions that demonstrate their behaviors in certain situations shows a person's fit with your company. Too bad, typical interview questions can't provide that value. Says Executive Intelligence Group's Justin Menkes:
The best way is to use questions that require candidates to demonstrate their skills in an interview format. For such a measure to assess intelligence, it must raise questions and situations that the candidate has never confronted. The more novel the situation, the less rote knowledge can be applied and the more cognitive ability is required to render an answer.
A sweet-lookin' interview question template for you:

The floor is slippery wet. Janitor Craig is in the conference room. What do you?


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Posted on July 23

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