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Interviews: what to ask... and how not to act. Discuss...

Steve Bridger

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Community Manager

6 Apr, 2018 10:27

It's Friday... so two articles I read this week which I thought I'd share. While I've picked out the bullet points, you will find the 'meat on the bones' behind the two links.

10 Qualities Recruiters Never Want to See in Candidates

1. Vagueness
2. A Lack of Loyalty
3. Indifference
4. Excessive Agreeability
5. Disorganisation
6. Abrasiveness
7. Arrogance
8. Verbosity
9. Ignorance About the Company
10. A Lack of Professionalism

...and

5 Questions You Should Ask at Your Next Job Interview

1. “How will you measure the success of the person in this position?”

2. “What are some of the challenges you expect the person in this position to face?”

3. “Thinking back to people you’ve seen do this work previously, what differentiated the ones who were good from the ones who were really great at it?”

4. Ask the question you really care about.

5. “What’s your timeline for next steps?”

Do you have anything to add?

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  • Hi Steve,

    My pet hate with interview candidates is when they refuse to admit to any mistakes or weaknesses at all. Everyone has made mistakes, everyone has weaknesses. Admit to them and then talk about what you learned from the mistake or how you overcome a weakness - that it what I am interested in.

    In regard to the questions candidates should ask, I think these will really depend. Some candidates will ask questions (similar to the ones above) at the end of the interview just because they had read somewhere that that is what you should do. They can come off sounding forced and sometimes the candidate shows no real interest in the answer - eg asking about the challenges and then not going any deeper or asking follow up questions etc.

    If they sound natural and the candidate is engaging with the answer then that is great and they are good questions to ask - just don't ask them because an internet article told you to!
  • Racism? Had that from a candidate once (completely unselfconsciously). Also one candidate (for a very junior position) rigged out in a Chanel suit (I am unfortunately not qualified to judge whether fake or real) looking down her nose at the recruiting manager, whose job involved looking after building / facilities, because she happened to be wearing jeans that day to clear out a store room. So I'd add snobbishness to the above list. And overt sexual displays, eg very low cut and/or see through tops, very short skirts combined with very high heels and associated "wriggling" of assets. Although I suppose this could count as "lack of professionalism"? Although in some places I have worked, this behaviour was advantageous so it might merit an extra category? Alternatively, we might just need to accept that for some employers, lack of professionalism in certain roles is a positive reason to recruit or promote someone...
  • Steve Bridger

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    Community Manager

    6 Apr, 2018 12:13

    In reply to Jeny Parsons:

    Yes... be yourself. Follow-up questions are good, although I do recall in my distant past the sense the interviewer stops listening and just wants to shout "next!" ;)
  • Steve Bridger

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    Community Manager

    6 Apr, 2018 12:15

    In reply to Anka:

    Do I detect a hint of cynicism, ? ;)
  • In reply to Anka:

    I wouldn't have had a clue if she'd been wearing a 'Chanel' suit in the 1st place anyway! ;-)

    But I do remember a local authority telling me at an interview that; "They were running 20 minutes late", and this was followed by, "we always end up running 20 minutes late". I did avoid the obvious question/statement as to why they simply didn't allow for that when they were doing their timings!!Q
  • In reply to David Perry:

    I have a friend who trained as a fashion designer and, over many years, managed to instil a very superficial knowledge of certain iconic styles/designs - that's as far as I can go without rubbing the fabric and checking the quality of the stitching! Thinking about it now, it might have been quite funny if I had tried that :).
  • Don't tell me that you're brilliant. You may be, but that's my conclusion to arrive at - and I'm much more likely to do so if you give me some evidence rather than assertions.
  • Steve Bridger

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    Community Manager

    6 Apr, 2018 14:12

    In reply to Nina Waters:

    Brilliant post ;)
  • From my experience being on both sides these same qualities applies to the recruiters not just candidates as recruitment is two ways road
  • In reply to Anka:

    Hey Anka. Did you mean avoiding candidates should avoid racism related questions or did you mean a particular candidates was racist unconsciously.

    In fairness, I am Asian origin and in interviews always like to suss out if the organisation has a culture of rascism. Its as much my opportunity to learn about their culture as its their to learn about me . Some may argue that its not best to do so, but I don't want to be wasting my time where an organisation will mark me down just because of colour of my eyes. I would rather not start the relationship then fail for issues outside my control. Unfortunately the risk of raising this at interview is that organisation may view it unfavorably but then thats a risk worth taking in my view.
  • In reply to Geetika Kaushal:

    Hi Geetika

    In this situation, the candidate used a racist term about a particular group, seemingly without any awareness whatsoever that the term was prerogative or might be construed as racist which astonished the manager and myself.

    I sometimes wonder how people feel walking into a workplace that might be overwhelmingly white. This is is frequent in the industry I work in but I think / hope the causes are more likely to be unconscious bias or class prejudice or a combination of both as I have not personally come across overt racism. It is, however, difficult to get to the bottom of it as there is no solid data from which to draw conclusions and attempts at collecting it have not been very successful over the years.
  • Steve Bridger

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    Community Manager

    11 Apr, 2018 16:38

    In reply to Artur Kidacki:

    Excellent point, .
  • In reply to Anka:

    "Pejorative" of course!
  • In reply to Artur Kidacki:

    Great point Artur, and one that should be well noted. I cannot believe how many hiring managers I come across who have either never had recruitment training or certainly not had refresher training to keep them up to date. Many a time it seems managers assume they are good at it because they are good at other parts of their job....which of course doesn't necessarily follow.