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Job Interview. Beyond the ordinary questions

31 March, 2015

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Date of Publication: 31 March, 2015
Asking peculiar questions or opting for the so-called “silent strategy”, are 2 of the techniques used by recruiters to liven up the interview and to try emerge the personality of the candidate.

Evergreen questions.

“Briefly tell me about yourself” “why would you like to work for us?” “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”.

The classic interview questions are still the most popular ones used by recruiters all over the world, especially when they need to evaluate candidates with little experience.

These questions are tested, precise, on point, but by now have been learned by heart and perfected by aspiring managers, that have come up with impeccable responses, perhaps even by reading manuals on how to do a perfect job interview.

Therefore can this mechanism be demolished?

Silent strategy.

Some recruiters think that long pauses between questions may be able to emerge the personality of the candidate. This theory is based on the natural inclination of mankind to fill up the moments of silence. For some, silence can create a certain embarrassment, for others it gives an opportunity to deepen the argument, ask questions, or even change the subject to something that is important to them. The silent strategy therefore allows the argument to explore new paths, startling the candidate who may seem too contrived. Or vice versa, endorse the person that knows how to seize the opportunity.

The work day is always full of unexpected situations, and a silent interviewer can really highlight the candidate’s capability of improvising on the spot.

Peculiar questions.

From the same viewpoint of separating the interviews from the usual clichés, some recruiters ask questions that seem more than bizarre “how do you make a tuna sandwich”? “If you could be anyone else, who would you be”? “I would like to go on holiday with my father, what do you suggest”? “From one to ten, what vote would you give me as an interviewer”? These are just a few examples of how to stimulate one’s imagination and bring out the true personality of the candidate – serious, ironic, passionate, cautious, lively. This happens because it is basically impossible to be prepared to answer such peculiar and “out of the blue” questions.

Which technique is truly ideal?

It’s hard to say which is the best strategy. What is certain, is that it is always preferable to not go against your true nature, and ask questions that make you feel most at ease, even if somewhat unoriginal. But if you feel like experimenting, mixing all these various techniques may be an excellent way to modulate the rhythm of the interview and always be unpredictable.

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