Digging deeper with good interview questions
I recently read a good blog post about interviewing better by asking things that aren’t the usual interview questions, but good interview questions that probe more about who the person is than just receiving prepared answers. I saw it first on LinkedIn, but have linked rather to the author’s blog* above, however below I post the LinkedIn link since he adds to the blog post.
So here are the four types of questions to mix into your interviews, as per the author. I like each of them and would advise to ask the questions separately, not all at once.
Ask a story question
Here, you use the word “story” instead of the typical “tell me about yourself”. In others words: “Tell me the story of your career. Tell me why you do what you do and how it came about. What is the best moment in your story?” By tapping into their emotions around a topic, you get much more pertinent information.
Ask a question about decision-making
While STAR questioning techniques do dig into how job seekers make decisions, this is a more personable way of asking the question and also one which they haven’t necessarily prepared for. The question needs to be asked in a certain manner, so as the author described it:
“Tell me about the moment you decided leaving IBM was the right path for you. How did that feel? What were the pros and cons? Were there other options? What pushed you over the edge? Who did you talk to when you were contemplating it? In retrospect, how do you feel about that decision? Would you do anything different if you could go back in time?”
You’re asking how someone felt and who they spoke to – you’re putting them back in that moment and getting them to relate to and tell you who they really are in those challenging times. This is golden information for a recruiter before hiring.
Ask a mindset question
This is similar to the decision-making question and revolves around how they think and also how they operate while not at work. A good way to start is: “Put me inside your head at the moment you heard [insert event] – how did that feel? What did you tell your significant other? What did you do differently? How did things play out?” Get right into their psyche and see how they react both internally and externally to a certain event or situation.
Ask an empathy question
These are really good interview questions – they focus the person on how they feel and whether they think of others’ feelings or not. “What was it like for the others on your team when you…?” and “How did s/he feel when you did that?” are lovely examples. Candidates will mostly start their answers with “I think…” and may specualte, but you will still see through those job seekers that aren’t going to fit into you company and also those people who do no resonate with you.
I’ve used the first three a lot in interviews myself, but less of the last one, which I will now be incorporating. Most good interview questions ask something unexpected, unprepared and something that gets the candidate to think and respond truthfully. You will see their eyes look into the distance to recall or work out the answer and it often comes less polished, but more reliable.
Throw these above four questions into your next interview and see how much more you learn about the person that you might hire and have to spend the better part of your day with. It’s worth finding out a whole lot more about who they are than what they can do for your firm.
*The LinkedIn link is: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/4-interview-questions-see-truth-every-candidate-brendan-reid