Question Technique

Question technique is a vital skill for the interviewer. You will use questions in an interview to:
 Relax the candidate.
 Encourage them to open up.
 Probe their background.
 Identify candidate’s strengths/weaknesses.
 Gauge their overall suitability.
Questions should be:
 Open (in most cases).
 Clear.
 Relevant.
 Well worded – What, Why etc.
 Not leading.
 Asked throughout the interview.
The types of questions that are used in an interview can be classified as follows:
>>Open Questions
Designed to get the candidate to open up and express themselves. They will generally begin with the words “Tell me” or “Who” “What” “Why” “When” “Where” “How”.
>>Probing Questions
These questions are designed to delve more deeply into something the candidate has done or said. For example the candidate might have included a training course that they had attended on their CV. You might want to find out more about the course or how it helped them at work. To do this you might say, “I see from your CV that you did a course in Health and Safety. What did you cover on the course and how did it help you in your last job…? How could it help you in this position…?”
In an interview situation, you should never take a statement made by the candidate for granted. Always probe to
find out more, particularly if you feel it is relevant to the job. For example a candidate may tell you that they are very good at working on their own initiative. You could just accept this statement. However it is better to explore what they have said by asking them something like “You mentioned earlier that you were good at working on your own initiative. Tell me about some situations where you used your own initiative in the past…?”
It is important to note that probing and interrogating are not the same thing!!! It’s good to probe.
>>Comparison Questions
These questions are designed to get participants to compare past experiences. They are designed to see if the candidate gives some thought to the work that they do and how this job fits in with their thinking. For example you might ask a candidate about two past jobs they held – “What was the hardest thing you found about moving from Job A to Job B…?” This could then be followed up with “How would that experience of changing positions help you if you were successful in getting a job with us…?”
>>Behavioral Questions
These questions are designed to examine how a candidate reacts in a certain situation, or to explore their character in greater detail. They might take the form of “What do you think you contribute to a team…?” or “What would you do if you were faced with an angry client…?”
The purpose of the questions you ask is to find out as much relevant information as possible about the candidate. As mentioned, ideally the candidate should do most of the talking during the interview (80%). Using well worded questions will help you achieve that.
Questions should not be:
 Quick-fire’ interrogation type questions.
 Critical or disparaging.
 Long winded
 Of an overly personal nature.
 Closed questions, for example: ¡§Can you tell me¡K?¡¨ There may be some occasions where you want a Yes/No answer but most of your questions should be open.
It is also very important that you fully understand what questions you can and cannot ask during an interview and the legislation surrounding this area.

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