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Interview Questions – The Sweet, Sour and Savoury

I recently posed this question to some  fellow HR colleagues: “What are the best and worst interview questions?”

Not surprisingly, the suggestions were many and varied, but the question also generated some rather good reminders about interview preparation:

1: Make Time – Always invest time in making questions relevant and appropriate to the job

2: Go for Quality – Think quality rather than quantity, by concentrating on a few good questions that can be followed up with what, why, when and how questions (also known as ‘open’ questions)

3: Experiment – Be prepared to try something different –  try sharing the type of questions you plan to ask with candidates before the interview, or supplement the interview with a relevant practical test or some form of presentation (if appropriate)

The best interview questions are the ones that help you find the right person for the right job – so taking the time to think about a particular role and the behaviours and skills you require, will always make life a lot easier.

Having said that, the questions we gathered did seem to fall into three distinct categories: the Sweet, the Sour and the Savoury.

Here’s a taster:

1. THE SWEET INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

There are many to choose from, but these appeared to be the most popular, because they reveal a lot about a person’s motivation, alignment and enthusiasm, appropriate for many different job situations:

“When did you last learn something new?”

“In your career to date, what are you most proud of and why?”

“Why did you apply for this role?”

“Who is your role model and why?”

2. THE SOUR INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

These are the ‘lazy’ questions, asked by those who didn’t take the time to prepare properly:

“Tell us about you?”

“Interest me!”

“Describe yourself?”

3. THE SAVOURY INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

These are the ones that are more of an ‘acquired taste’, which tend to only be favoured by those seeking the most creative and innovative of roles. They are also much harder to analyse fairly, as they can be very subjective:

“If you were a sandwich, what filling would you choose and why?”

“If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?”

“If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?”

 

Do you have any Sweet, Sour or Savoury questions to share? If you do, please include them below!

Happy Interviewing!

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