Three Useless, But Common, Interview Questions


Most common interview questions don’t get to the heart of the matter — knowing if the candidate is the right person for the job.

Interview QuestionsThe majority of standard interview questions actually discover little about a job seeker. Of course, all interview questions are the same question—why should we hire you?

As for the candidate, they obviously have one mission—to get the job.

However, the average hiring manager is extremely busy, and they often they execute a series of offenses:

  • Answering phone calls during interviews
  • Not taking notes, acting bored or distracted
  • Bad-mouthing their companies
  • And the worst of all—asking those “gotcha” questions without a good reason

The cost of asking terrible interview questions can be anything from hiring the wrong people to driving away fully qualified applicants. What can make things even worse; poorly trained hiring managers can leave employers open to legal liability by asking biased questions.

The concepts behind successful interviewing are simple—better interviews lead to better employees. Asking the right questions can get enough information to get the best people for the job.

Avoid these three useless interview questions, and incorporate some few well-worded replacements:

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

Human Resources: Free live ovation demoUsually, the question is to continue to a candidate’s career goals, but few people know what they will be doing in five years, so often, the answer will not be the truth.

Instead, ask: “How does this position work into your long-term plans?”

The best interviews are conversations, and this topic will be better suited to open a dialogue.

“Tell me about your current job.”

This often will result in the candidate reciting resume highlights.

Instead, ask: “Describe what you do in a typical day.”

A timeline of daily responsibilities can tell a lot about the candidate.

“What type of people do you have a problem with?”

Few people can be expected to answer this openly. There is little benefit to knowing what “types” of people the candidate likes to deal with.

Instead, ask: “Describe a time you resolved a conflict.”

Specific examples are best to learn how a job seeker works a variety of personalities.

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