3 Useless Questions NOT to Ask Candidates During a Job Interview

October 15th, 2015

Rhys Metler Toronto Sales Recruiter
By Rhys Metler, Toronto Sales Recruiter

You have a limited amount of time to learn as much as possible about a potential candidate – you don’t want to waste time asking questions that are not going to help you find the right candidate.

We all know that you cannot ask questions regarding a candidate’s race, ethnicity, age, or religion. There are also countless questions that don’t really do much other than fill time, and considering the cost of hiring and ramping up new employees (estimated to cost about $4,000 once you factor in recruiting, time, and training), it’s important to use interview time wisely to vet candidates and find the best possible person for the position.

Job interview questions

While the curveball query, ‘Who would win a fight between Spider-Man and Batman?’ can throw the candidate off their carefully scripted answers and force them to react spontaneously, it can also serve to make only the most verbally adept applicants shine, disregarding other potential talent,” says Tim Toterhi, HR professional and author of Job Hunting For Introverts, to Fast Company.

Here are a number of interview questions you should consider scratching off your interview question list:

Question 1: What is your biggest weakness?

This question has been asked to death, and any candidate that has read an interview prep book will have a well-rehearsed answer that will provide you with little to no insight about the candidate.

Question 2: Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years?

This is another question where you can expect a canned response. Considering how unpredictable the future is becoming, you are most likely to receive a general answer such as “in a management position.”

Question 3: What’s your background?

This is information you already have – that is, if you’ve read their resume and checked out their LinkedIn profile. Asking a general question like this will likely result in the candidate simply rehashing the information that is on their resume.

A better way to approach this question is to identify specific questions you have about a candidate’s previous experience.

Ask Specific Questions

Focus on asking more specific questions that tell you something about how candidates will operate as an employee of your organization. This will help you get a better understanding of whether or not they align with your corporate values and have the competencies and technical skills to do the job.

To ensure you hire the most qualified candidates, our Toronto Recruiters use smartFACTOR, a proprietary candidate assessment tool to increase your hiring success rate. To learn more, check out our Headhunter Insights or contact us today for more information about how to hire effectively.

Learn More About Running Effective Job Interviews

The Best Interview Technique There Is

Interview Do’s and Don’ts: How to Land the Candidate You Want

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IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm with offices in Toronto and Vancouver. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Financial Services & Insurance, Marketing Communications & Media, Emerging Tech & Telecom, Consumer Goods & Retail, B2B & Industrial, Technology, Accounting & Finance, HR & Operations and Mining & Engineering, Sciences, and Construction, Property & Real Estate. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is Director, Client Services of IQ PARTNERS‘ Sales practice and leads the SalesForce Search recruitment team. He specializes in prospecting new business relationships, client retention and renewals, and building top performing Sales teams in even the most challenging environments.