Asking poor questions at interview and not identifying the candidate’s agenda

Part of this goes back to the last issue, not having a well-thought out interview process. Once you have the process set out, it is easier to start thinking about what questions you would like to ask at what stage in the process and then to integrate those questions into your process.   

I am a huge believer in asking open-ended interview questions, and there is much more information on this in the article “Open Ended interviewing”. 

There are a number of questions that it is illegal to ask during the interview, but as a rough rule of thumb anything that would limit the candidates ability to carry out the functions of the job is something that is perfectly appropriate to question.

I have a client who, I am ashamed to say, seems to use the 10 mistakes as his own personal checklist to make sure that he made each one in turn. After panicking that his secretary had resigned and given him no notice, he advertised on craigslist, started interviewing people the same afternoon and hired the first decent candidate he found. Three months later, when she was finally becoming productive, she told him that she was leaving to go to school -- something he had never asked about in his hurried and poorly thought out interview "process".

It is very important to identify what the candidates agenda is to see whether they are really a good fit with the job. This is more true in a down economy than at any other time because when people are desperate they will take a job that is way beneath them. When the economy turns around they will start looking for something that is commensurate with their true abilities, and that is the time when you are likely to lose them.  

The Four Critical Steps to Hiring

  • Establish the Profile

    Make sure that you know what talent you are trying to hire. Start from scratch and take time to define the job rather than rushing and simply rehiring the person that you are replacing.    

    The Time Edge



  • Develop the Process

    Successful hiring depends on having real choices. Write advertisements that will attract a large pool of candidates and have a process so that heavy response levels don’t stretch your resources    .

    The Time Edge

  • Grade Candidates

    You can’t afford to rush the selection process. You need to have an effective screening process and evaluate candidate skills carefully in relation to the job profile you established.

    Edge Business Essentials

  • Evaluate and Execute

    It is essential to have a robust interviewing process. You need to have candidates interviewed thoroughly and then check references and do background checks.

    The Alternative Board