5 questions to avoid asking job applicants

What are the worst interview questions to ask candidates? 


Finding the right person to work in your business can be tough. That is why it’s essential to ask the right questions to prospective employees.

However some of the go-to questions may not be that useful in predicting how well a person will do in a job. In fact most experts say the people who are the best at selling themselves in interviews aren’t always the best job candidates.Those who are outgoing, well practised in interview techniques and have good teeth are more likely to do well in the interview because the job process amplifies our individual bias,’ says Lauren Rivera, a professor of management and organisations and North-western University.

Here are some popular interview questions you may wish to avoid.

  1. What are your weaknesses?

All this question answers is how well versed your candidate is in the art of a Google search (there are about 2,110,000 search results just in case you were wondering). Candidates will have a memorised an answer to this question, which will give you little insight into the candidate.

  1. What is your family situation? Do you plan on having kids?

This question is never acceptable and most likely breaches relevant anti-discrimination legislation in your state. And if that’s not enough reason to avoid the question, it doesn’t help you to assess the candidate’s skills, competency, experience or personality.

  1. What is/was your GPA?

There are a few problems with asking candidates to provide academic transcripts, the first and most obvious one is that academic success is not an indicator of success in the working world. Before 2014, Google focused on test scores when recruiting for graduate positions before realising that this traditional selection method wasn’t giving them the top quality graduates they sought. The selection process now relies heavily on interview questions and practical problem solving.

4.What salary are you worth/What salary are you expecting?

This puts the candidate in a very awkward position. They have to decide in a split second to shoot high or shoot low. The majority of the time the candidate is going to shoot low in an effort to stay competitive, but isn’t a true indication of the candidate’s worth. It’s better to ask for a range from them.

  1. Where do you see yourself in five years time?

While interviewers may think this question can provide insight into the candidate’s ambitions and desires for the future, it’s not usually effective,

Most people struggle seeing where they will be next week, let alone five years from now.

A better question may be, if you were still working here in five years: What do you hope your biggest achievement or contribution may be?

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