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The Worst Interview Questions

Posted by Erin Borgerson on April 14, 2014

Obviously, the whole point of conducting an interview is getting to know candidate and determine whether or not they are a good fit for the position. Coming up with the right questions can be a tricky task and sometimes they don’t turn out that great. Unfortunately, some companies hire candidates that did a great job selling themselves during an interview, but they end up not being the right person for the position. The best solution is to ask solid questions that relate to the job instead of asking “getting to know you” questions.

The Questions We've all Been Asked

When candidates prepare for interviews they practice answering the questions they expect. More likely than not, we have all been asked, “What would you say is your biggest weakness?” Followed by, “What would you say is your biggest strength?” These questions are bad to ask because the responses have been rehearsed. Candidates are just telling you the answers that make them sound desirable as well as giving you the answers they believe you want to hear.

Pointless Questions

We believe employers tend to ask pointless questions in order to get a better sense of the candidate's personality. One of the most common questions is, “If you were stranded on a desert Island, what items would be the most important for you to bring?”24539384_s Does the answer to this question in any way relate to the job? No. Sure, you might get a feel of the candidate’s interests, but the most important part of hiring it to choose a successful individual.   

What if...

Hypothetical questions can be good questions to ask because they allow you to get a feel for how a candidate would react to certain situations at the job. These questions can really cause an issue when a candidate is hired and they end up not dealing with things the way they said. A better way to get the same information is to ask them about real situations they overcame at their previous work. Actions definitely speak louder than words.

Getting Too Personal

Asking questions that are too personal and possibly illegal is the biggest mistake you can make. Even though we all think this is common sense, personal questions are still popping up in interviews. Don’t ask or discuss anything that has to do with family, religion, or political views. Before you ask a question, ask yourself if it were something you would want to answer.

The type of questions asked at an interview can either make or break the hiring process. It makes more sense to ask questions that have been proven to help hire talented employees. The time spent on finding the right questions can prevent bad hires and save time in the long run.  

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Erin Borgerson

About the Author

Erin is the Director of Marketing, Crisis Controller and Culture Ambassador (the last two titles she gave to herself) who joined the Hireology team in April of 2012. As a certified Inbound Marketer, Erin manages Hireology's marketing department, the Hireology Blog, and media relations. She is also a co-leader of the Chicago Hubspot User Group which brings together Hubspot users from around the Chicagoland area. Erin set off to Chicago after graduating from Western Michigan University. In her spare time she can be found shaking it in a Zumba class, reading a bestseller, or drinking a craft beer on her Wrigleyville porch.