Every hiring manager has a list of interview questions that they lean on when under pressure to select the right candidate. However, this is not always a good way to identify top candidates, because the interview questions are outdated and job seekers have learned to rehearse their answers in response. In other words, your “tried and true” interview questions are not working effectively anymore – they’re old and tired, and it’s time for some better ones.
Some examples of interview questions that need to go are:
Tell me what you’d like to be doing in five years?
If life has taught us anything, it’s that the next five days cannot be predicted — let alone the next five years. Candidates will likely respond with an answer related to aspirations your company can help them achieve, or how they’d like to climb the career ladder within your industry. This really won’t help you narrow down your list, so leave this question out of the hiring process.
What is your favorite animal and why?
Exactly what is the point of this question? What does it actually have to do with a career or a job search? They might as well respond with, “purple unicorns with rainbow hair”, because it’s no better or worse an answer than a platypus or alligator. Unless you’re interviewing for a veterinarian, this question is unnecessary.
Have you ever dealt with a difficult client?
Who hasn’t faced a challenging time with someone difficult? This is an old interview question that all candidates are prepared to answer with a canned response. Instead, try asking for specifics about what a difficult situation looks like and how they handle things to foster positive client relationships.
How well do you perform under stress or deadlines?
Again, this outdated interview question has been overused by many recruiters over the years. Most candidates will indicate that they work well under pressure and that deadlines are just par for the course. Instead of asking candidates if they work well under pressure, ask them how they manage their time to handle their workload.
If you recognize some of the above questions in your interview process, it’s time to update it with some fresh questions that get to the point faster.