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What You Asks Matters

Date: 03/14/2007 | Category: Business | Author: Diana Heeb Bivona

Interviewing for new employees can be frustrating, particularly when you are not confident you will find the best person for the job. A company’s interviewing style is often at the heart of the issue.   The problem, to a large extent, is what types of questions we ask candidate to gather information. Commonly, questions asked are:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why you you want to work for us?

Its no wonder with these types of canned questions that we often get canned answers. The success rate of finding the right person using this type of unstructured interview process? Statistics put it at around 57% with the problem being that most interviews are merely nothing more than a discussion which doesn’t address the real issues at hand.

There is another style of interviewing being used by more and more companies. It’s called behavioral interviewing and its goals is to probe the candidates for their competencies not just their past experiences or what they would do in certain situations. The success rate for behavioral interviewing is over 77%.

Types of questions in a behavioral interview include:

  • Give me an example of a time when you had to be quick in coming to a decision.
  • Have you ever had difficulty getting others to accept your ideas? What was your approach? Did it work?
  • Have you ever had to “sell” an idea to your co-workers or group? How did you do it? Did they “buy” it?
  • What do you do when your schedule is suddenly interrupted? Give an example.
  • Give me an example of an important goal which you had set in the past and tell me about your success in reaching it.

Behavioral interview requires research and practice on the part of the interviewer, but it is well worth it if it increases your chances of getting the right person for the right job.

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