As much as technology has changed the recruiting and human resources sectors (we can now scan resumes, cull through them for appropriate skill keywords, place openings on job boards to potentially capture the interest of candidates across the world as well as in our own town), a couple of things remain the same:
- We still use/require resumes.
- We still ask the same old, same old interview questions.
While some might argue that the job interview itself is outdated, there definitely are some interview questions we could “retire” without missing them.
Take a look below for five outdated interview questions I think we can stop asking.
- Tell me about yourself.
Ah, the old interview ice breaker! What a waste of time! Truly, do you want a candidate to ramble (most do, you know)? Instead, if you want to know something about a candidate, ask specifically: “How did you get started with Salesforce?” “What do you love most about it?” “What do you dislike?” “What do you find most challenging – in both good and bad ways – about it?” And so on.
- What is your biggest weakness?
This one deserves a face palm. This question gives an interviewer no valuable insights into a candidate’s personality or ability to do a job because most professionals today know to take a strength of theirs and take it to the nth degree so that “weakness” actually shows a strength: “I’m such a stickler for detail that I triple- and quadruple-check all of my work.”
Instead, if you’re wondering how perceptive a candidate is about where he could use some improvement, why not ask something along the lines of “when did you receive some recent negative feedback and what did you do as a result?”
- Are you a team player?
What do you expect a candidate to say? “No”?
Since you’re no doubt really wondering how well and quickly a candidate can get along with different types of colleagues, ask “You’ll be joining a team that’s worked together for some time. Tell me about another instance when you were the new guy. What were the specific steps you took in the first few days to integrate yourself with your new colleagues?
- Where do you want to be in five years?
Goals are good. Yet take a look back at your own life five years ago. Are you now where you wanted to be then? Chances are while your current career status contains parts of your five-years-ago desires, so much technology and the pace of change has meant that you’re likely doing something you never could have conceived of, even just half a decade ago.
Perhaps a better –and more appropriate – question to ask would be one that looks to the future within the confines of the present: “How does this position fit into your long-term goals?”
- Describe a project you recently completed.
While on the face of it this appears to be a fine question (after all, the Salesforce world is pretty much project-based), it’s vague. What you really want is specifics, so take a look at the candidates resume: chances are there’s a particular project mentioned and you can ask something along the lines of “Tell me about XYZ project here on your resume. What are you most proud of? What could have gone better? What was the result and what would you change, if you could?”
It can pay big time to work with a Salesforce-specific recruiting service such as Tech2 Resources. We are a Salesforce Registered Consulting Partner and all of our recruiters are Salesforce-certified. We were one of the first – and remain one of only a very few – staffing and recruiting firms which focus solely on finding top-notch Salesforce professionals.
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