Write better interview questions

3 tips to write better interview questions

Rachel Cwang Mar 16, 2017 8:29:00 AM

You can find hundreds of articles on the best interview questions to use or the ones that successful companies rely on and it all attributes to how important this step of the hiring process is. The problem is that many interviewers ask weak questions, accept unsubstantial answers or do a combination of both and then end up having to do the work all over again. Who has time for that?

For today, let’s just tackle the first of those issues and make sure that you are asking better interview questions. Here are 3 tips to help you write better ones:

Specify What You Need To Know

The whole point of the interview process is to find out whether your candidates will achieve in the position. So what do they need to be able to do to achieve? If you clarify the exact behaviours that they will need to demonstrate, you can work backwards to find the right words to ask if they can do so. The best way to do this is to make a list of their responsibilities and then think about what attributes they will need for each. It is important to get all stakeholders involved in this process to get everything out on the table.

Drag Out the Story

The best interview questions prompt a candidate to tell a story about a time in the past that they have actually done something that you need them to do. This is how you get proof of performance. Your questions need to facilitate the telling of this story and uncover specific details about it. Try starting with “tell me about a time” or “give me a recent example” and don’t stop there. Follow up with “what were the steps you took?” or “what obstacles were presented and how did you get around them?” to really get to the specifics.

Don’t Write Them At All

The easiest way to write better interview questions is to not write them at all! There are many resources out there that you can piggy back off of and tailor slightly to your organization and role. Any good personality assessment will also provide you with interview questions that are specific to your candidate. Just make sure that you are obtaining behavioural based interview questions as those will help you make the best predictions of future performance.

Whether you take the easy route or write your own questions, the goal here is to get the information that you need to make the right hiring decision. If you master this, then you don’t have to waste time or money refilling positions ever again! 

Make Better Hiring Decisions

Topics: Talent Acquisition

Rachel Cwang

Written by Rachel Cwang

Client Success Manager