Worst Interview Questions that Will Get You Nowhere with Your Candidate

The interview is the time to really evaluate your choice of candidates, seeing if you found the right person for the job. But before you go conducting your interviews, take a look at your sheet. Are you asking candidates the right things in the right way?

Run a red pen over the below worst interview questions:

Interview Questions Not to Ask

1. ‘What is your favorite movie genre/superhero/weekend activity?’

Job interview questions have truly become bizarre in recent years. Blame it on Google. While Google has certainly made a name for itself for its product, its in-house interview process has created some buzz as well. Nowadays, interviewers want to know just as much about candidates’ hobbies and spirit animals as they do job-related skills.

The interview is an opportune time to get to know the candidate, but while personality questions are encouraged, bear in mind the time. A job interview lasts only so long, and in that time hiring managers must collect valuable information about people who may spend years at their companies. If you’re itching to know these answers, perhaps move the related questions closer to the end.

2. ‘What did you earn at your last job?’

In one swing, this question gets three strikes, making it one of the worst interview questions:

  • Not useful information.
  • Not a good look for the interviewing company.
  • Possibly illegal depending on location.

The hiring manager should have a pulse on industry salary standards, as well as what the actual salary is for the position before the candidate comes in for the interview. Asking such questions runs the risk of numerous awkward situations. What if you’re paying too little? Too much? You may also come across as trying to pay the absolute minimum, which doesn’t look good to bright young professionals seeking career advancement.

Fun fact: In New York City, Philadelphia or the commonwealth of Massachusetts, it is considered discriminatory to ask questions about salary history in a job interview. Interview questions pertaining to benefits and other forms of compensation are also discriminatory.

What’s worse than hiring the wrong candidate? Getting sued by the right one for asking bad questions. Stay vigilant – these laws could come to a neighborhood near you soon if they aren’t there already.

3. ‘We don’t really ask questions. We prefer to just chat.’

Casual conversation can be helpful in an interview. It might help loosen up candidates and get a look into their personalities to see if they’re not only a fit for the job but also the company. However, casual interviews, especially late in the selection process, can hurt the interviewee.

According to research published in the Journal of Judgment and Decision Making, unstructured interviewing creates biases for the interviewers. In one experiment, interviewers were asked to interview two groups. One group was given a structured interview while the other sat through an unstructured approach. In the end, the interviewers felt they gained a better understanding of their candidates through the unstructured approach, but the data actually said the inverse: Structured interviews were the more honest assessment. More structure keeps interviewers on track and unclouded.

Profiles Creative Recruitment Services

Recruiting and vetting creative candidates takes a certain panache. Ensure you are bringing in the right candidates for the job and avoid asking the worst interview questions. Contact Profiles to learn how we can handle those stresses for you and connect you with top talent in your area.


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