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DOWNLOA 13 useless interview questions... and what you should ask instead

By JodyGilbert ·
http://techrepublic.com.com/5138-10878-5941882.html

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Very good!

by jkameleon In reply to DOWNLOAD: 13 useless inte ...

*** thumbs up ***

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by Bob Gately In reply to DOWNLOAD: 13 useless inte ...

Interviewers need not be good at interviewing as the 13 questions demonstrate. A good rule to follow is: If it isn't a job related questions don't ask it. We ask all job applicants 318 questions but none of the 13 are included.

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318 Questions?!

by compguy In reply to

What can it possibly take 318 questions to determine? The GMAT manages to get by with 78 questions and two essays.

Assuming it takes an average of 30 seconds per question for you to ask the question and get an answer, you're looking at better than 2.5 hours in the interview. If you start asking questions that require any kind of thought or detailed answer, you're going to stretch into an awful long day. While that may be appropriate for some positions, it's a little over the top for most.

I don't know what your interview procedures are like, but I'd much rather keep interviews shorter (an hour or so) and ask questions that require some thought put into the answer.

One of the best questions we came up with (accidentally) was for a programming position. The database had some historical design idiosyncracies. For one question, we described some of the structure of the database and asked the candidate how he would design a procedure to generate an invoice from that data. Candidates who asked "What is an invoice?" were pretty easy to eliminate. With the others we got to see a little bit of their critical thinking and design skills.

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You've been in technology too long

by amcol In reply to 318 Questions?!

You really think he meant literally 318 questions? No chance he was just engaging in a little hyperbole to make a point?

I love the mathematical analysis, however. No matter how flawed your premise.

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by compguy In reply to You've been in technology ...

I'll agree that it's possible it was hyperbole, but he could have been completely serious. I've dealt with companies where the 318 question scenario wouldn't surprise me.

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by Bob Gately In reply to You've been in technology ...

Hello amcol:

Actually, I did mean 318 questions.

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by Bob Gately In reply to 318 Questions?!

Hello Compguy:

Thanks for a well-thought out response.

>What can it possibly take 318 questions to determine?<

Which qualified to be hired job applicant(s) will be successful if hired.

>The GMAT manages to get by with 78 questions and two essays.<

But the GMAT doesn't tell us who will become a successful employee.

>Assuming it takes an average of 30 seconds per question for you to ask the question and get an answer, you're looking at better than 2.5 hours in the interview.<

You know the old saying about assuming. It takes about an hour to annswer the questions. Some people do it in less time and some take more time.

>If you start asking questions that require any kind of thought or detailed answer, you're going to stretch into an awful long day.<

These questions are read and answered on the Internet.

>While that may be appropriate for some positions, it's a little over the top for most.<

We find the 318 questions work for all jobs at all levels. Given the cost of a bad hire it cheap insurance against making a bad hire.

>I don't know what your interview procedures are like, but I'd much rather keep interviews shorter (an hour or so) and ask questions that require some thought put into the answer.<

Yes, and face-to-face interviews are notorious for not identifying future top performers.

>Candidates who asked "What is an invoice?" were pretty easy to eliminate. With the others we got to see a little bit of their critical thinking and design skills.<

Why settle for a litle bit?

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by compguy In reply to

> These questions are read and answered on the Internet.

This changes the context quite a bit. A written set (which is effectively what they're getting) of 318 questions is completely from an in-person interview with 318 questions.

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My apologies

by amcol In reply to

For directing my sarcastic disbelief to the wrong person. Allow me to correct my error.

As a hiring manager I have never, ever given an interview in which I came prepared with more than a dozen questions and ended up asking a dozen or two more beyond that for clarification, depending on the answers I got. A small number of on point, thought provoking, information eliciting questions are all that's needed to determine if a candidate is the right fit for any job.

You're asking 318 questions and getting responses to all of them in an hour. You either have a broken clock and you're actually taking a LOT more time than that, or you're getting only the most superficial of answers on which you can't possibly base an intelligent hiring decision.

OK, let's say I'm wrong and you can actually do this. As a candidate for one of your positions your speed interviewing technique says a lot to me about your management style and your corporate culture. No thanks, not interested.

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hiring for talent

by Bob Gately In reply to My apologies

Hello amcol:

>A small number of on point, thought provoking, information eliciting questions are all that's needed to determine if a candidate is the right fit for any job.<

Tha face-to-face interview is not very effective at identifying future successful employees. Here are the correlation coefficients I have seen reported for various methods of selecting future successful employees:
0.00 for a Flip of a Coin
0.14 for an Interview Only
0.26 after adding Background Checks
0.38 after adding Personality Testing
0.54 after adding Abilities Testing
0.66 after adding Interest Testing
0.75 after adding Talent Matching

plus a few random ones...

0.18 for Job Experience (years)
0.38 for Unstructured Interviews
0.41 for Integrity Tests
0.51 for General Mental Ability Tests
0.51 for Structured Interviews
0.54 for Work Sample Tests

>You're asking 318 questions and getting responses to all of them in an hour.<

Some people take more time while some people take less time.

>You either have a broken clock and you're actually taking a LOT more time than that, or you're getting only the most superficial of answers on which you can't possibly base an intelligent hiring decision.<

There is another alternative, you have no idea what we do or why it works.

>OK, let's say I'm wrong<

Keep an open mind.

>and you can actually do this.<

Every day there are more than 40,000 employers doing it as I described, see example below.

>As a candidate for one of your positions your speed interviewing technique<

It is not an interview. Candidates can select the best answer or leave the answer blank.

>says a lot to me about your management style and your corporate culture. No thanks, not interested.<

Yes, it speaks volumes about the culture. It takes a special person to get a job offer. Job applicants who get job offers become successful, long-term employees. For many employers that is worth the risk of losing a few obstreperous job seekers who think they are above being screened for job suitabiity.

A Software Development Example:

The HR Manager for a software development company hired for talent for over two years and then stopped for two years because the two owners thought they could do a better job of selecting successful Technical Support Analysts (TSA) than Sonja, their HR Manager. TSAs go to the client's workplace and identify the programming errors and then reprogram the software.

The owners felt too restricted by the talent selection process. After two years of doing it themselves they went to Sonja's office and told her "Start using the your talent method again, you are much more successful at hiring good TSAs than we are." The owners could not duplicate her success rate, not bad for just an HR Manager. Sonja took a risk when she first tried the talent selection process.

Employers over rely on face-to-face interviews and qualifications. The goal should be to hire competent people, not necessarily the most competent, who will become successful employees. The best I can tell a resume never actually does any work.

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