Interviewing Questions

Interviewing Questions or….

How to get under the skin of your candidates and find out what you need to know about them without berating or insulting them and finding yourself the subject of national vilification on social media, the press and BBC News!

Well I am sure that many of you have read about the candidate who has lambasted a company across national press, social media, and on national television, following her interview for the role of Communications Assistant. She has said that the Chief Executive “bullied” her during the interview, criticised all of the work she had submitted and continued to berate her and criticise her during the 2 hour “ ordeal” as she describes it, even though it was clear that she was in tears. (She was offered the job and has turned it down).

I recognise that we need and want to establish resilience, self sufficiency, initiative, resourcefulness and receptiveness to learning, when we are interviewing prospective employees, particularly those with relatively little work history and experience in our sectors, but we don’t need to go to these lengths to do it.

I understand that this technique has been referred to as ” pressure interviewing”.

Any experienced interviewer will know that there are behavioural questions and competency/situational questions that we can ask to gain an understanding of the resilience of an individual.  There are ways of finding out how people react to pressure, and for most people the interview process alone is a pressurised one. We can also set the scene before the candidate arrives, by letting them know when we confirm their attendance what type of scenarios they need to be ready for.

I also recognise that as interviewers we have to pull all our resources, experience and perception in to play when we are interviewing individuals without very many work examples for us to look at. It is harder to interview candidates who don’t have a CV showing years of experience in similar jobs where we can evaluate their past experience and compare that to our culture and our vacancies. However, it is not impossible and many firms do it very well. Particularly those who are keen to attract millennials and those who work hard to become Employers of Choice.

Given that we are all struggling to attract recruit and keep the best talent available, we can all learn from this situation that if we want to become an Employer of Choice, our branding and message to the world starts with our recruitment process and if we don’t get it right, look what can happen.

Better People Ltd – Recruiter of Choice for Growing Businesses

Jayne Johnson MD





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