Top Questions Recruiters Should Never Ask
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By Lyndsey Mclaughlin
Interviews can be nerve wracking for everyone involved, not just the person being interviewed. It is
often the case that recruiters also find themselves getting tongue tied during interviews, particularly
if responses are shorter than expected and there’s still plenty of time left. It is important to think
about interviews as a chat to find out more about the candidate, rather than creating a pressured
environment for them and asking awkward questions. The more relaxed and comfortable they are,
the better the interview will go and the more likely you will be to see the real person. These are
some questions recruiters should never ask.
Although it is nice to show an interest in the candidate, it is not really relevant to start asking about
their personal life. Many recruiters feel that this is a good way to find out more about whether the
candidate fits within the company, but in fact, it can actually make the candidate feel awkward or
even lead to discrimination cases. There is nothing wrong with asking what the candidate likes to do
in their spare time, but asking about their marital status, children etc., is not suitable for an
interview. You never know what’s going on in someone’s personal life, so these types of questions
should be avoided. If the candidate brings up any personal information of their own accord then it’s
fine to discuss it, but otherwise, stay away from questions which are too personal. It is a job
interview after all.
Strengths and Weaknesses
This is a question which many recruiters ask and is one which candidates fear being asked. The
bottom line with this question is that it is highly likely the candidate will make up the answer to their
weakness. They won’t say they find it difficult to get out of bed or that they don’t really pay
attention to detail. It is therefore, pointless asking it. You should be able to get a good indication of
where their strengths lie when discussing their career history and skills they have developed. As for
weaknesses, this is probably only something you will find out after they are hired and let’s face it,
none of us are perfect.
What Makes You Better?
Asking candidates what makes them better than others is not a good question to ask, as it creates a
sense of competition. Instead, it is more effective to ask what they think they can bring to the role
and the company. Asking them to compare themselves to others, will only put them under
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