Some managers favor candidates who went to the same school. There's also evidence that African-American sounding names, birthmarks, being pregnant, and being overweight puts candidates at a disadvantage.
To overcome this bias, identify the key skills and values in advance, then create a standard set of behavioral and situational questions to ask every candidate. Doing this can triple the manager's accuracy in predicting job performance.
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Some questions are too easy to fake, for example, "What's your greatest weakness?" Other questions like brainteasers reveal more about the manager than the candidate.
Behavioral questions about a past experience can help anticipate future behavior. "Tell me about a time when..." Include some situational questions. "What would you do if..." Pick something that is important for success in the job and work culture.
College seniors often stretch the truth in interviews to make a better impression. Be aware that when you meet someone for the first time, you meet their representative.
An antidote could include to let them showcase their skills by collecting a work sample. It might be a project they've done in the past or a live simulation of the job in real-time.
Credentials may be overrated, but motivation is often underrated. A candidate may have a lot of experience but may lack the drive to think creatively and work collaboratively. The right candidate will also be hungry and eager to improve.
Most of us prepare in advance for the usual questions at an interview, which may not be very creative (“Name three of your biggest weaknesses?”). Some crazy questions can take us by surprise, like:
These questions test our presence of mind, creativity, poise and preparedness for the unexpected.