Good Interview Questions

Good interview questions are important to you whether you are the interviewee or interviewee. Let’s consider the different perspectives.

Just like knowing how to interview is a skill, interviewing a candidate for a position is a skill too, and not all interviewers are created equal. Sometimes interviewers don't ask effective questions. By effective i mean the type of questions that let them gather the information they really want to know.

An interviewer has 3 objectives with the questions they ask

• Answer the core questions

The main objective of the interview is to find the person who is the best fit for the job. Good interview questions will help the interviewer to decide this by focusing on the things that really matter, and allowing the candidates to fully state their claim.

• Allow comparison between candidates

Interview questions should allow candidates the opportunity to show what they are really all about, and help the interviewer to make judgements on the rightful pecking order of the candidates. The interviews should be structured to allow this, with a core set of key questions that will be posed to every interviewee. One of the most common methods of doing this is the structured interview .

• Avoid illegal interview questions

No interviewer wants to be responsible for a lawsuit being filed against their employer. But it can happen if they are not aware of the boundaries………

You can learn more about illegal interview questions – click here
Now its time for you to see how it works in practice;

For examples of great sample interview questions you can ask– click here
Now lets consider what good interview questions mean for an interviewee

A fundamental of success in the interview is being able to give great answers. One of the keys to giving great interview answers is being asked the "right" questions in the first place. The kind of questions that invite you to play to your strengths, accentuate your positives and demonstrate your capabilities. So what are good interview questions? They are the kind of questions that make it as easy as possible for you to show that you are the right candidate for the role. Not all questions are created equal. Your job is to make them all work for you.

The problem is interviewers don’t always ask good interview questions. The reason is that the interviewers themselves have different level of skill. A poorly posed question may lead to an ineffective answer. For example if they ask a closed question

“Are you willing to travel within the role?”

On the surface this closed question offers interviewee little room for manoeuvre, besides a yes/no reply. It is difficult to learn very much about anyone from this type of response, so good interviewers avoid using closed questions.

Looking from the interviewee’s perspective, giving a yes/no answer robs you of an opportunity to explain why you are willing to travel and how you are confident you would be comfortable with travelling as you have enjoyed the experience within your previous role. This would go a lot further to creating the image of you as the right candidate.

To learn more about some of the tried and tested common interview questions – click here Turning bad into good interview questions – how to cope

Understand what the interview is really about

The best candidates know what the employer is looking for. They understand that the whole interview is about answering the core questions and determine whether you are the right candidate for the job. Identify what the interviewer wants, the skills attributes and experience.

Gaining the right job interview information will give you vital clues that will help you, when a closed interview question is asked you will be guided by what you know is really important to the interviewer. Which brings us neatly to point two……….


If you are unclear on a question you are going to give an unclear answer. You need good interview questions to work with, and that means getting clarification. Find out what the interviewer wants the focus of your answer to be – then when you’ve given your answer ask/ensure you have covered what they are looking for. Which leads neatly to point three……..

Know how to give a great interviewer answer

Whatever the question it needs your best answer. That comes from preparing for the interview , knowing how to answer interview questions , and having the confidence to deliver that answer effectively.

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