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A good interviewer can help the candidate relax and give them the opportunity to showcase their skills, experiences and personality to allow the interviewer to make an accurate and objective appraisal of their suitability for the role and for the organisation. To help with this process, we’ve come up with our top 5 things NOT to do or ask in an interview.
1) Extremely personal questions
In some cases and in some countries, it is unlawful to ask certain personal questions of the candidates. Age, martial status, religion, ethnicity, sexual preference are topics that should not be raised within the interview by you. If the candidate volunteers information on these topics then that is okay, however these criteria should not be used as part of any assessment of the suitability of the candidate for the role on offer.
2) Just CV related questions
Try not to ONLY ask questions relating to their CV. Questions about their CV is a good place to start the interview and a great way to get the candidate to relax but throughout the interview make sure that you ask questions about various work related scenarios and how they would react to them.
3) Closed questions
Closed questions have their uses and should be used to confirm facts around qualifications and dates in previous roles however these types of questions have limitations. A series of closed questions can leave you without further details on the candidate’s experiences and personality.
4) Abstract questions
These types of questions might have some use to determine the candidate’s personality however there are more effective questions to uncover this aspect of the application. For example, asking for the candidate's top 5 cars that they would buy if money was no object won’t really tell you too much about the candidate.
5) Be distracted
This is common courtesy but leave your phone out of the interview room! It's likely that you would be offended if the candidate started to look at their phone during the interview, so give the candidate the respect they deserve by giving them your complete attention during the interview. You can reply to emails after the interviews has finished.