Questions not to ask at a job interview

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Robert Maurer

Questions not to ask at a job interview

Here are some examples of questions not to ask the candidate to get a clearer interview and more useful information.

Last update: April 28, 2019

When preparing for a job interview, you need to carefully study the questions to ask candidates. Since you don't have unlimited time, it's important to be clear and concise, focusing on what you need or want to know. It is therefore worth remembering what are the questions not to ask in a situation like this.

The job interview is generally considered the evaluation method with the greatest predictive capacity. The questions, therefore, must be planned in order to obtain as much information as possible in the shortest possible time.

Here are some examples of questions not to ask the candidate. By avoiding falling into these mistakes, we can get a clearer interview and more useful information.

5 questions not to ask the candidate

1. What do you know about us?

It's certainly a common way to start an interview and break the ice. It is, however, the first example of questions not to ask. Let's be honest, it is not logical to penalize a candidate with great potential just because he has not done research on the company.

The candidate's usual response may be "I have gathered some information, but I have not been able to go into much depth". Of course, the candidate wants to make a good impression on those in front of him, but he certainly doesn't want to talk about a company he doesn't know from the inside.

2. How would you like your boss to be?

Here is another completely nonsense question. Nobody would say they want an authoritarian or inept leader. The answer will always be “I would like an empathetic manager who cares about employees and who can be inspirational, someone to learn from. That it values ​​employees and that it is demanding, but in a reasonable way ". It is evident that anyone would like to have a good leader as their leader.

3. What would your former colleagues say about you?

This question only gives the candidate a few seconds to self-praise. The following answer has been prepared at the table and the interviewee will only say what they are expected to hear. He will highlight his ability to work as a team, responsibility, punctuality, perfectionism, etc.

4. Why did you leave your last job?

Another question not to ask during the interview. The candidate is well aware that a dismissal is penalizing in the eyes of the new company. If possible, therefore, he will do everything to make a good impression and not be responsible for the loss of his previous job.

Of course this does not mean that the candidate was fired through his fault. There are many factors that can lead to this situation.

5. Personal questions

Questions about health, physical condition, personal matters are not recommended if not, in some cases, even illegal. Trying to obtain personal information creates discomfort and tension. No one should judge a candidate on the basis of their religious belief, political views, sexual orientation or, simply, their future family plans.

6. Why do you want to work in this company?

As in the previous cases, the candidate will have prepared an answer such as “I like the projects he develops and I think I can contribute”, also adding some of his qualities that suit them. This question, therefore, does not allow us to obtain much information about the candidate and the type of skills that distinguish him.

It is true that if the person is sincere we cannot even dismiss this answer. There will be a lot of people who are really interested in working in your company. The problem is, it's hard to know. Hence, it is best to delve into the answer with further questions.

7. What are its weaknesses? One of the classic questions not to ask

It is now clear that questions for which the candidate has easily already prepared an answer are to be avoided. This is the classic example of a useless question followed by an obvious answer such as "I'm a perfectionist, too demanding at work". In other words, the candidate is given another opportunity to praise himself, albeit in a more indirect way.

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