7 Questions HR Needs to Stop Asking in Job Interviews

Published July 30th, 2020 - 04:00 GMT
7 Questions HR Needs to Stop Asking in Job Interviews
Some interview questions have been so overly-used that it doesn't offer any insight into candidates' skills or knowledge anymore/ (Evanto: seventyfourimages)

Rapid changes in the world require an open attitude towards initiating changes in the way we carry out all sorts of tasks, especially in a vital workplace environment.

During the year 2020 and due to an unprecedented pandemic, we have been forced to make changes in almost every little detail of our lives, including work settings, hours, and tasks. New office roles have emerged and others proved to be a waste of time or effort and have been adjusted accordingly.

Hiring new people in the workplace, I think it's time for us to revise questions asked during job interviews, especially classic ones that have been used for so long they are no longer helpful in understanding interviewees. 

Additionally, some interview questions have been so overly-used that it doesn't offer any insight into candidates' skills or knowledge anymore, especially with internet websites filled with ideal answers that are often memorized by applicants. In this article, I suggest we stop using several interview questions, many of which are amongst the most asked and replace them with deeper, more insightful, and less conventional ones.

1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

This question usually aims to explore the interviewee's long-term plans in the company and to examine whether they are willing to spend the next five years in the same position or if they are looking forward to gaining more skills or promotions.

Instead, you can ask candidates about the goals they are looking to achieve in the company in the long run. Or you can ask them about their personal goals in the coming 5 years.

2. Why is there a gap in your resume?

In a world heavily hit with economic crises, one after another, this question doesn't really help businesses looking for new members in making their decision.

People laid off amid unusual economic meltdowns usually go through stressful times looking for a new job and this question can be a trigger that makes things more challenging for them.

Also, some people choose to leave their jobs for personal or health reasons that are no longer there. Either way, this question confuses applicants on whether they should get personal or not.

Instead, you can ask the candidates about how they invested their time during this gap.

3. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Having been asked way too much, people are always well prepared for this question with answers that could be true, but more often than not, are just fake. Preparing for the interview, mist candidates look for ideal answers online and memorize them in order to come off as the best possible option.

People on hiring committees can instead ask about skills that they think are required the most for the position they are applying for, so they see if they match what they're looking for.

4. Why should we hire you?

This overly-used question also doesn't really help with understanding the applicant's vision.

Similar to the previous question, there are many indirect ways to explore mutual goals in the candidate without having to resort to this one. For example, the candidate can be given a scenario where s/he has to overcome a challenge, and based on the candidate's answer, the interviewer would be able to determine whether this candidate is the person the company needs or not.

5. Why would you like to work in this organization?

If this question aims to figure out whether the candidate has researched the organization before showing up for the interview or not, then this will not be of great help.

And in case you're asking this question to see if the candidate's values match the organization's, then you can get the answer using another approach. For example, you can offer the candidate several cards that include different traits such as being passionate, observant, etc. Then they ask the candidate to select 3 cards that describe him/her the most. 

6. How do you handle conflict?

This question easily reminds candidates that they should emphasize patience and friendliness regardless of the circumstances, which is not exactly what a job interview should be about.

Looking for a more honest answer, you can ask instead about what makes them frustrated or annoyed. 

7. Are you married? Will you be married anytime soon? How old are you?

Personal questions like these usually leave an impression that your business wants to "exploit" every bit of effort and time, as to say that the ideal employee should be young, single, and can be easily be enslaved at work. If anything, these questions make candidates hesitant in accepting your job offer and scares the best skills you're looking for.

Instead, keep you focus on individuals with superb skills that add more value and profit to your business without having to put extra effort or spend long hours at work.

What is the weirdest question you were asked in a job interview?

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