Asking candidates the right questions in an interview is essential because it helps you the employer to identify whether the candidate’s behaviour, experience and skills match what is required for the job. However, some employers tend to use the interview time asking obnoxious questions that are not helpful – the type of questions that probe the candidate to go over and above to prove themselves to impress the employer, making the employer appear superior.
Asking appropriate questions not only allows you to weigh in on whether the candidate fits the job description and your company culture but also enables you to select the most suitable candidate, which in turn creates higher chances of understanding if the prospective candidate will excel in your company.
10 Questions You Should Avoid Asking Candidates
Here are 10 questions you should avoid asking candidates in an interview.
1. Where do you see yourself in five years?
This question creates a biased view that if they don’t have five year-plan, they’re not serious enough or it could cost them the job opportunity. Goals can be affected by change, the best way would be to ask how the role they’re applying for fits into their career goals.
2. What are your weaknesses?
This can affect the candidate’s focus in hopes of finding the perfect way to convey their weaknesses to you. Instead, ask them when they identified an opportunity to improve, and the result from that.
3. Out of all the candidates who applied for this position, why should we hire you?
Granted all applicants are vying for the vacant position, it is not the job seeker’s role to decide why you should hire them; it is your role to ensure they match what you’re looking for.
4. What would your previous employer say about you?
Employees who are true to themselves focus on doing their job and delivering results as opposed to pleasing their employer.
5. How many sick days leave did you take in your previous job?
Questions relating to health, sickness, etc, should be avoided unless the job specifically requires the candidate’s health status.
6. What is your political affiliation?
Political preferences should be off bounds.
7. What religion do you belong to?
Just like political preferences, questions relating to religious affiliation should be avoided.
8. Are you a team player?
Do you expect the candidate to say no? Instead, ask them how they would acquaint themselves with a team that has been working together for a long time.
9. What did you hate about your previous job?
This sounds like a good question but it sets up the candidate to be negative about their former employer and it’s not helpful in filling your vacant position.
10. Are you affiliated to a union?
Workers have a right to be part of a union, and as an employer, you shouldn’t ask this question.
Final Thoughts On Questions Not To Ask Candidates In An Interview
The interview is a fundamental factor of the hiring process, however, conducting it effectively is not an easy task as it may sound; that’s why knowing what to ask and not to ask during an interview is imperative. Your talent acquisition strategy should entail a detailed interview questions framework.
Remember candidates are also interviewing you, hence, there are questions you need to stay clear off by ensuring your questions focus on the actual job and skills required for it.
How do you decide the type of questions to ask candidates in an interview? We would like to hear from you in the comment section.