A New Spin on Old Interview Questions

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A New Spin on Old Interview Questions | By Ginny Morgan, Senior Recruiter | Tulsa Staffing Company | Trinity Employment Specialists

I believe most people are very familiar with the old, basic interview questions. What are you strengths? What are your weaknesses? How do you handle stress? Tell me about yourself? These questions served a purpose once, but I believe there is a better way to interview potential employees.

Behavioral questions are a great conversational way to speak with candidates. In the article ‘100 Potential Interview Questions’ on www.moster.com it states potential basic and behavioral interview questions.  Behavioral questions are those asked by hiring managers, staffing agencies and interviewers that try to get the candidate to tell a story or give an example. Such as, can you describe a time when your work was criticized? Or, have you ever been on a team where someone was not pulling their own weight? How did you handle it? These types of questions are intended to bring out more than just a yes or no answer. They are intended to bring out a dialogue and institute conversational style of interview.

While behavioral type questions have a place in some types of interviews, especially when mixed with basic questions as well as career development, salary and getting to know you questions. I believed this style is not right for every situation. When interviewing for an entry or lower level positions these questions are not appropriate. In the online article ‘Entry Level Interview Accounting Questions’ it states that question about college and what they would like to find are best for an entry level position.  These are especially helpful for new grads and those with no previous work experience.

I like to ask questions that tell me about the candidate without making them nervous. I do not like to ask behavioral questions because I believe they put a interviewee on the spot and puts them on edge. They are not able to be themselves and I do not get an accurate picture of how they will be as an employee. I tend to ask a new spin on old questions. I like to ask questions such as, what did you like about your last position, and what would you change about it? What tasks to you think you are best at? What do you think past coworkers would say about you?

Ultimately, it comes down to the staffing coordinator or hiring manager. Every interviewer has their own style. And, every job needs a different touch especially those that maybe a lower level or entry position. Those that are more high level may need behavioral questions that are more technical and in depth. Each hiring manager should determine their audience and skill level and craft the interview questions carefully. They can really tell a manager a lot about the communication and personal skills of a candidate.

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