The key to a successful interview is asking the right questions. Interviews provide you with the opportunity to learn more about a person than his or her resume provides. Using different types of interview questions will help you determine which people are best suited to fill positions in your organization.
When you think of a job interview, you typically think of direct questions. They are questions that determine how an interviewee will focus answers. They are often part of phone interviews or traditional interviews, but they can be implemented at any stage of the interview process. You should use direct questions when you need specific information from someone.
How does your work experience qualify you for the position?
Non-direct questions are not specific. They are general questions that allow the person being interviewed to determine what information to include in the answer. Non-direct questions allow you to gauge how well someone can focus. They can also provide insight into the personalities of different prospects.
Tell me about yourself.
Hypothetical or Situational Questions
Hypothetical or situational questions determine how someone would behave in certain situations at work. Hypothetical questions are particularly useful in situational interviews, but can be asked at any stage of the interview process. Asking a hypothetical question will help gauge the problem solving skills of different candidates. To be fair, make sure that the questions are relevant and could actually happen.
What would you do if a customer’s order was not shipped out on time?
Behavioral Descriptive Questions
Behavioral descriptive questions are used to learn about a candidate’s past experiences and what type of impact they will have on future performance. A common example of a behavioral descriptive question is “Tell me about a time you took initiative.” Those being interviewed can share positive or negative stories that describe what they learned from their job experiences and how they can implement what they know. Candidates should answer the questions based on the STAR model.
Situation: Candidates need to fully, but concisely, explain the circumstances of the situation.
Task: Make sure they explain the tasks they completed or problems they addressed.
Action: What course of action was taken and why?
Results: What were the results of the action?
A local restaurant had a high turnover rate of 33 percent for the wait staff and began to use different types of interviews, but relied on direct questions. The turnover did not improve. After six months, the hiring manager implemented hypothetical, behavioral, and non-direct questions to the interview process. This allowed them to find candidates capable of handling the stress of the job. Turnover dropped by 20 percent.
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