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Tip 144: Interview Questions to Include and Avoid

Candidates often hear the same generic questions with most of them proving unlikely to reveal information about how they will perform on the job. Good interview questions need to be specific, revealing, and relevant to the job.

What are the common “cringe-worthy” interview questions to avoid, and what should you ask instead?

  • Avoid: What is your biggest weakness? Instead ask: Tell me about a time when you realized you’d taken on too much. How did you handle it?

  • Avoid: What’s your ideal work environment? Instead ask: Tell me about a time when you were doing your best work. What were you doing, and why were you at your best?

  • Avoid: Where do you see yourself in five years? Instead ask: Let’s say you get this position. What skills would you most want to develop in your first year?

  • Avoid: Why should our organization hire you? Instead ask: What do you consider to be your biggest career success so far, and why?

Consider including this question: Could you share one thing you notice you notice your colleagues disagree with, but you agree with it, and explain why? This question may be difficult for many people, but it reveals a lot about a candidate’s critical-thinking capability and how comfortable they are expressing perspectives that differ from the mainstream views.

Review this list of 200 Hiring Questions to help you develop the questions for a specific, revealing, and relevant to the job interview.

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