Employment interview questions are the questions asked by an employer and it is one of the most misunderstood subjects. There is a tremendous amount of conflicting information. You hear everything from ask open-ended questions to don’t ask yes-no questions.
In this article, and the ones linked to it, I will share with you everything you need to know about the best employment interview questions, behavioral interview questions and will include sample interview questions for you to review. In addition you will learn about creating interview questions.
Making good hiring decisions is all about having good data. Most of the data in the hiring process comes from the face to face interview. And the data you get in the interview is totally dependent on the quality of questions you ask. Ask good interview questions and you get good data. Ask bad interview questions and you get bad data — and make more hiring mistakes.
Effective interview questions have 4 common characteristics:
- Easy To Answer
- Only One Answer
- Planned Specific Purpose
- Job Related
There are many types of effective employment interview questions. The most important consideration for any question is whether or not it helps you make a better hiring decision. This is the test you run on any question before you decide to use it in your interview.
Just a quick side note. There are some things you want to avoid with employment interview questions. You don’t want to ask any question that requires you to “figure out” the answer. ” What do you think of selling?” Is a classic example of a questions that forces you to figure out the answer. You are better off sticking to questions that force factual answers instead of opinion.
Behavioral Interview Questions
The most powerful questions you can ask are behavioral interview questions. These are questions that force the person to tell you what they did. The person needs to describe their behavior. Behavioral-based questions are a great way to find out exactly how the person handled specific situations that are the same or similar to those they will face on your job.
For a full discussion on behavioral questions and to see examples read the article Behavioral Interview Questions.
Another key to good questions is to make sure they are not general. As nice as it would be to have 10 or 12 questions to ask ever person in every interview, it doesn’t work. General questions usually get general answers. What you need is very specific data about the person.
The fix is to make your questions specific. Whenever possible, make them specific to the individual person. Here is an example: “How do you deal with deadlines?” This is a classic general question. A much better question would be, “How did you handle the budget deadline on the ABC project?” This question is specific and requires the person to give good behavioral data.
For a complete list of effective questions see the article Sample Interview Questions.
Creating Interview Questions
Creating employment interview questions does not need to be a chore. It is only difficult when you try to do it real-time in an interview.
The key to creating effective questions is to know what piece of data you need. Don’t ask questions just for the heck of it. Always have a specific purpose in mind.
Once you can articulate the piece of data you need, creating the question is easy. If you need to know how many sales the person closed last week, ask, “How many sales did you close last week?” If you need to know who else worked on the project with the person, ask, “Who else worked on the project with you?”
It really is that easy. Once you learn to create your own interview questions you will always be ready to hire great people.
For a complete discussion on how to create interview questions see the article Creating Interview Questions.
Finally, sometimes you just need to laugh. Here is a link to a very funny book that has very funny answers to many of the funny interview questions. You know those question you hate. Please enjoy.
Smartass Answers To Stupid Interview Questions Book