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3 pointless interview questions

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If you actually want to learn about job candidates, avoid these questions:

1. “Why should we hire you?” Most people will recite a laundry list of qualifications that match your job description. Instead, ask them to share specific real-life experiences that prove they are qualified for the job.

2. “What is your greatest weakness?” Few people are going to answer that honestly. Some will share a virtue disguised as a weakness, as in “I tend to push myself too hard.” Instead, pose a real challenge they will face on the job, and ask them to walk you through how they would handle the issue.

3. “Where do you see yourself in _____ years?” You’ll likely get a canned answer along the lines of “advancing in a stable company,” and what does that really tell you?

Instead, ask them specifically about their goals: Do they want to move into management and why? Or what certifications or degrees are they interested in obtaining? Those questions actually tell you about their ambition and long-term plans.

— Adapted from “10 Worst Interview Ques­­tions,” Ron Haynes, http://corter.com.

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