The key questions recruiters should ask during interviews

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The key questions recruiters should ask during interviews

Instead of asking intrusive and unnecessary questions to job candidates, recruiters should focus on sharing experiences.

Organizations are constantly striving to retain their best employees while attracting new talent to join their ranks. With the latter, the first impression often made on job applicants is through the interview process, which can be a process of change or rejection. Unsolicited tactless questions from recruiters, even if well-intentioned, can cause organizations to lose top talent.

In South Korea, data collected by South Korea’s Ministry of Employment and Labor revealed that 84 cases of privacy violations during job interviews were reported in the past two years. Job applicants were asked questions such as their height and weight, where they were born, and the lives of their close family members and siblings. Although the South Korean government has established laws and guidelines to protect personal data during the recruitment process and during employment, however, regulation of the process is scarce.

How then should recruiters create an interview process that is professional and unobtrusive?

Ciara Harrington, Chief People Officer, Skillsoft, shared with HRM Asia that recruiters in all organizations, when preparing questions for the interview process, should strike a balance between relevance and unobtrusiveness by focusing on job-related competencies and behavioral and situational issues of employees.

Recruiters, first and foremost, need to fully understand the job role and the skills required, Harrington explained, aligning interview questions with those criteria and thus aligning all interview questions with the criteria required for the role. Next, any questions that focus on understanding the applicant’s behavior should be done by respectfully discussing past experiences and avoiding personal or sensitive topics. “This can be accomplished by asking questions about the culture at their current company or by asking for examples of where the individual has lived and what they perceive as good or bad culture in their past,” Harrington said. That way, she explained, recruiters can see if the person is a good fit for the organization they want to join.

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Finally, she cautioned that recruiters should focus on understanding the skills and competencies a job seeker needs so they can determine when a job applicant has the aptitude for the position, rather than taking the risk to select a job candidate who may be able to develop the skills in question in the workplace. “At Skillsoft, we often prioritize behavioral and cultural fit, knowing that job-related competencies are typically easily developed in a candidate who is the right fit for the organization,” Harrington concluded.

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