Here are a few questions that can either make or break your interview.
Good questions to elicit responses to reveal more about a potential new hire:
- Can you work nights and weekends? Are you available to travel? This gets to the heart of your need in filling the position.
- Tell me about how you have handled conflict with a co-worker. When you know about a potential employee’s conflict resolving skills, you can better assess how the person will fit in with your company.
- What is it about this company that made you apply for the position? If the applicant has not done his/her homework for the interview, how enthusiastic will he/she be as an employee?
- Why are you leaving your present employer? This provides insight into work history and leads to follow up questions for fill in work history gaps.
- Tell me about a work product that received criticism. Bypasses the “weakness is really a strength” myth.
Bad questions that can lead to legal nightmares:
- Questions designed to find out the applicant’s age.
- Questions about the applicant’s health, including inquiries about pregnancy now or in the future.
- Questions about religious preferences/interests, sexual orientation or disabilities.
- Questions concerning the applicant’s national origin.
Applicants who are not selected for the position can litigate for employment discrimination if any of the “bad” questions above were discussed in an interview. The Federal Equal Employment Opportunity laws prohibit most employers from rejecting applicants based on their gender, race, national origin, religion, age, disability and pregnancy.