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7 rules employers should follow when preparing for job interviews

Updated: Oct 3, 2021

With access to information being easier now than ever before re-thinking your typical interview questions is important. It will set a good candidate apart from a great candidate. It only takes a few minutes to memorise optimal responses to the usual interview questions. John Sullivan article, 7 rules for job interview questions for great hires, appearing in Harvard Business Review establishes a terrific foundation for formulating some great questions.

Stay away from the usual interview questions

There is a tonne of information on the web that guides candidates through how to prepare for the typical questions like what is your biggest weakness?

Identify real problems likely to be experienced

A successful candidate is not going to take long before they're going to need to solve a problem within the role that you're hiring for. Develop a simple scenario that is likely to happen in the role and ask the candidate what they would do to solve this problem.

Determine how forward-thinking they may be

Having a discussion based on the next 3 to 6 months will provide interesting insight into how successful they may be in the role. having a knowledge of the typical trends in the role or where the industry may be going is important.

Analyse the candidate's ability to learn

No two jobs are the same. There is always an element of learning that must be undertaken in any new role and often continuously moving forward. Therefore determining the willingness of a candidate to learn is important. You may find that, for example, there is an attitude of “I am the best person for this job and I know everything about this role” that may prevent the candidate from being successful in the role.

Do not waste time

Spend your time for the candidates time by asking them information that is already blatantly obvious in the resume. Education is very common.

Set up the candidate for success

Do not ask questions that are too complex or unnecessary detailed. Yes, it is important to set apart good candidates from best it is important to take into consideration many other factors that come into play including the nerves of the person who may be undertaking the interview.

We would love to hear your feedback on these rules and if you have any others that may help like-minded businesses.


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