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Recruitment Reckonings

Designing Powerful Job Interview Questions (Part 1)

October 15th, 2015

Cheryl McCormack

Employers

So now that we have looked at the questions to keep away from when planning to interview your screened candidates now let’s look at those that need to be covered if you are to successfully decipher low from high performers.

Low performers and high performers react quite differently to certain situations and yet very much the same to others. For example, many of the questions that we covered in the previous blog – “Interview Questions that you Don’t Ask!” can merely elicit standard well rehearsed responses which will not serve you well in sorting out those low and high performers!

So we need to adopt questions that will differentiate – designed to elicit responses that will uncover whether or not the candidate has the right attitudes that will more likely lead to behavioural characteristics that are displayed in your organisations top performers.

From research carried out by Mark Murphy (2012) Leadership IQ, it was found that the following situations are amongst those that are likely to provide that differential that we are seeking;

  1. Response to significant change (positive and often exhilarated vs avoidance)
  2. Problem resolution (searches out solutions vs pushing aside or to someone else)
  3. Learning new skills (embraces new ground vs excuses around why not possible)
  4. Encountering failure (examines own performance for improvement vs blaming others)
  5. Being given the credit (not a focus vs high maintenance/much stroking!)

So now we can think about designing interview questions that will help to draw out responses that will highlight differences in attitude and approaches that will better allow us to identify which candidates are more likely to be high performers.