Why interviewers are still stuck to those irrelevant, stupid, not-taking-us anywhere questions, despite the fact that they themselves are fed up of asking them again and again. There are so many articles written about this and so many discussions have already happened on so many panels, but still, we jump back to Stone Age and start asking the same good-for-nothing questions, mechanically almost. This needs to end, high time. I am sure we all have heard these questions, if not all, few of them, once in our life, and we all knew that they make no sense. They don’t facilitate the process of selection or rejection, they just help in wasting time.
Tell me something about yourself
Arrrgggggghh!!! This question has spread so much venom on its own, that candidates have literally started taking interview crash courses just to answer this one. It is such an irrelevant question that I salute the interviewer to have the audacity to still ask this and also the interviewee to have the courage and patience to answer this. What do I tell about myself? All that you want to hear or all that the coach has coached me on or all that I really am. The worst part is, the interviewer gets the sense of accomplishment after interviewee answers the same old rustic question with made up enthusiasm and clichéd’ vocabulary. Please stop.
Why are you looking for a job change?
Because he/she can, and if they don’t look out for a job change, your positions will remain vacant so instead of asking that stupid question , please go ahead and ask relevant stuff to ensure he is the right candidate. Candidates look for a job change for many reasons and in some cases, no reasons at all, they just want to explore and that doesn’t prove if they are right or wrong. And as many times you heard the answer to that question, trust me, those were lies. So why waste time. Please stop.
Hypothetical Role Playing Questions?
Favorite questions of Hollywood inspired interviewers, asking questions like, ‘If you are a pilot on a plane, and you have the option of either crashing or water landing, what will you do and why? The interviewee shows the fake expression of amazement and appreciation to the wits of the interviewer and after a lot of thought, he answers, I will go for the Water landing. Bingo! This is what he wanted to listen, you know why? Because they both watched “Sully”. Please stop asking these, time eating questions, they don’t solve any purpose. Please stop.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
This is a question I was asked almost three times while I was hunting for a job and I had no clue that time, why was this even being asked. 5 years from now I see myself holidaying in Switzerland or may be flying an airplane or may be a mother of two or may be sitting at your place or may be dead, but how does that matter? How does the answer to this question helps an interviewer decide whether the candidate is fit for not, unless, you are hiring a fortune teller? Please stop.
Why should we hire you?
From all the questions you could ask that candidate, you end up asking this. It’s like the leader of the gang called, “good-for-nothing Qs”. Only you have the idea why you should hire him, if you believe so, and the candidate, well, he has given 4 other interviews too at the competitors’ and has answered the same question, same way with little alterations, so suit yourself, as no matter what he answers, you will make a fool of yourself. Please stop.
Please tell, what’s your biggest strength and biggest weakness?
This again takes the candidate back to the Interview coaching classes with a tagline “How to become successful”. He has scored 5/5 every time he answered this question in the test papers. Now he has some variants too with added quirk and wit as he asked the same question on Quora and got thousands of interesting ways to answer this. So bingo, this one will hit home, straight. Each one of the candidate thinks, we are smart enough to mention our weakness as one, which can be counted as our strength, and we outsmart the interviewer, and interviewer giving the candidate, “I am expecting a great answer” look on his face. He doesn’t even listen to you, just for your information. Please stop.
What is your dream?
Really? You really have the guts to ask that question while interviewing a candidate for a real job. He has a dream of owning a chain of hotels and he is giving an interview for Java Developer, how will it affect your decision. He might have a dream to act in a Bollywood movie and he is sitting there, giving an interview for Accountant, will it help? Please stop.
When are you planning to start a family?
Addressed to women especially, though I know few men also, who were asked these questions. This question stems out of the judgment towards the candidate that he/she is inefficient or will become nonproductive, the moment an extra responsibility crops up. This question clearly indicates the closed mindedness of the interviewer as well as the organization. So, if you are still asking this question with a preconceived notion in your mind, you need to do your job better. Please stop.
Asking questions from Resume?
To ask questions like, “Ok, so you have dome graduation from XYZ University, right? Your first company was ABC, right? What are these, fillers? Advertisements? Entertainment between the shows. Asking questions straight from the resume, of course you know the answer as it’s written on the resume. Why would the candidate write something else on the resume and tell something else? Why asking what you already know? Please stop.
What are your hobbies?
Ask something else, to lighten up the conversation, please. These are the questions now asked to fifth graders while they appear for middle school interviews. They should be telling their hobbies. Discuss events, trips, projects etc. Because I am sure, there is no interviewer who rejected a candidate because his hobby was swimming and not reading. Get over these silly ice breakers. And ask real questions and strike real conversations.
Please get this, interviewers and interviewees are on same table with equal importance and one need to respect the other, no matter what. Treat the interviewee like an equal not because you are humble but because he is equal. Instead of making it a “Let me judge you” interview session, have a conversation, learn something, teach something and understand how this person can add value to your organization and how can your organization benefit his career? So, just now, quit asking these.