Since an interview lasts around an hour on an average, it’s almost always impossible to judge a candidate’s intentions and skills. But you can follow a few simple tips to derail these candidates off their line of preparations, and bring out their true colors.
A simple way to make this work is to ask questions differently. Most candidates that prepare themselves for interviews go through a vast amount of resources available on the internet. This includes sample questions asked during an interview, ideal answers to these questions, and how to appear confident while answering. Simply twisting the way in which you ask questions can prove to be highly beneficial.
Here’s how you can ask a few obvious questions differently:
Set the tone for the interview
Don’t ask them where they would like to be in five years. Instead, ask them what they wouldn’t want to be doing in the next five years. This is a classic interview question that most candidates prepare themselves for. The ideal reply is a polished, positive response that makes them appear like an ideal candidate for a specific career option. But if you ask them what they don’t want to do in the next five years, you might get surprised by the answer. This will make them think about an unexpected question. The answer will set the tone for the rest of the interview.
Getting into their head
Try and get into their personality by asking deeper questions. You could ask them how people misinterpret them most of the times or what is others’ biggest misperception of them. This could very well bring out some topics most candidates would otherwise refrain from speaking about. You should expect some thoughtful responses as people try to clear out their own character from others’ perspectives. The heroes are always self-aware and will have a way to explain themselves very easily.
To gauge the candidate’s performance at their previous employer, ask them how they would rate their own performance on a fixed scale of 1 to 5. Once you get a reply from the candidate, follow up with another question to know how the candidate’s previous employer would rate them on the same scale. These two questions will set an interesting discussion into motion as far as past performance is concerned. Most interviewers would normally start and end this debate with a single question about their performance levels, but unprepared candidates could sound different when asked the same question in two different parts. The follow up question will reveal a lot about a person’s performance and character. Knowing you might be talking to the candidate’s previous manager, you’ll end up getting an honest answer during the interview.
You may twist a few other questions depending on the nature of the interview.
Optimize for specific profiles
Even though these questions will help you separate the A-level candidates from B-level, the entire interview process has to be optimized in such a way that you don’t give away anything that a candidate could have prepared for. At some point of time, you may surprise your candidate with unexpected questions, while at another point you could comfort them with something obvious. You’ll want to confuse them and confront them at the same time too.
This methodology is likely to succeed in helping you separate the heroes from the zeroes during an interview. It allows you to pick the right candidates for the job which would end up performing well at the company. The set of questions might be different depending on the type of job position the candidate is being interviewed for, but the goal always remains the same.