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Five Non-Traditional Interview Questions That Can Help You Select the Best Candidate

November 23rd, 2011

As you get ready for a few long days of candidate interviews, you’ll want to make sure you choose questions that accomplish the following goals. Regardless of the position, your interview questions should:

  1. Allow the candidate to reveal her qualifications for this particular job.
  2. Offer open-ended opportunities for the candidate to express her personality and personability.
  3. That’s all.

No matter how bored you may be with traditional interview questions, or how tempted you may be to test a candidate’s wits by asking something off-beat, don’t do it. Stay professional and keep your questions relevant to the job at hand. Resist the urge to ask things like, “Give me five reasons not to hire you”, “If you were a cartoon character, which one would you be?” or “Which do you value more, work or family?”

In an interview setting, these types of questions are unprofessional and not nearly as amusing as you may think. Give applicants a chance to shine. Don’t bait or embarrass them, don’t expect them to grovel, and don’t let silly, poorly-chosen interview questions allow excellent candidates to slip away. That being said, there are several legitimate ways to expand on traditional interview questions in order to gain deeper insight into an applicant’s problem solving skills, sense of humor, perseverance, and other relevant character traits.

Some of these can include the following:

  1. Describe a situation in which you worked with a team and the team failed to reach its goals. How did you respond and what did you learn?
  1. Describe the most challenging aspect of your most recent position. How have you managed this challenge on a regular basis?
  1. Describe one of the worst interpersonal conflicts you’ve encountered in the workplace. How did you handle this conflict?
  1. Tell me about a time when you had to win someone over to your way of thinking. What approach did you use and how well did it work?
  1. Tell me about your proudest moment in your last position. What challenge did you overcome? How did you excel?

For help contacting the best candidates, your local recruiting agency in CT at Merritt Staffing can weed out the best candidates to keep you from performing endless interviews and keep you fresh for the top performers.

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