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Are you asking candidates the right things?

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While challenging candidates’ ability to think on their feet with oddball questions like “If you were a fruit, what kind would you be and why?” research finds a considerable number of hiring managers still prefer to stick to the basics.

According to a survey by staffing firm Accountemps, questions about applicants’ interest in the position and company were the favourite question asked by senior managers (39%), followed by asking about candidates’ previous experience (22%) and 18% like asking about the applicant’s personal attributes and characteristics.

However, oddball questions are never off the table. Here are what hiring managers like to ask to catch candidates off guard:

1. “What kind of animal would you be?”

2. “If you could have all the ice cream in the world, how many different flavors would you take to make a sundae and how many toppings would you pick?”

3. “Use an ad slogan to describe yourself.”

4. “Tell me something different about yourself that’s not written on your resume.”

5. “Which magazines do you read?”

6. “What did you want to be when you grew up?”

The survey also asked hiring managers  “When interviewing job candidates, what is your favourite question to ask?” Their responses fell into the categories below:

Pertaining to the position or company
Previous or current experience
Personal attributes and characteristics
Personal goals and interests
Theoretical questions

Some of the most common questions asked related to find out candidates’ personal attributes or characteristics included asking “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”; “How do you interact with a team?”;”How do you handle stress at work?”;”What are your hobbies outside of work?”.

Hiring managers also like to ask job seekers questions like “Why did you choose this career?” and “Where do you see yourself in the future?” to find out if the  applicant’s career goals align with the opening.

The survey includes responses from more than 300 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees in the United States.

ALSO READ: Are you boring candidates to death with routine questions?

Photo/ 123RF

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