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Most interviews are simply not designed to allow a top candidate to show off their capabilities, ideas, and innovation. As a result, if you are recruiting for a mission-critical job that requires an exceptional hire, you simply cannot afford to bore top candidates with standard interview questions. Everyone who has done any reading about interview accuracy already knows that they are typically one of the weakest assessment devices for hiring.

One of the weaknesses is that the interview questions that are typically used focus on historical situations that occurred at another firm. But what you need to know is how this individual will perform now at your firm. That requires getting them to demonstrate how they will solve the problems that they will face in your job.

HR: your friend or your foe?

Most typical questions have already been anticipated and practiced for by the interviewee to the point that their answers are not authentic. The 12 questions I have provided here are broken into four distinct categories. These questions are known as content questions, and they are usually determined to be valid because they actually reflect the content of the job. In addition, they allow the candidate to show off their skills in problems solving.

If you agree that the best hires are those who can first identify problems accurately and then are able to solve them, these questions can be effective. The following three questions work best if you pre-test them on a current top performer to ensure that they can quickly understand the problem and that they can in a short period of time outline a solution to it.

How will you identify problems and opportunities on the job? Can you identify the likely problems in this process? So please look over this outline of one of our processes and identify the top three areas or points where you predict that serious problems are likely to occur? Solve a real problem that you will face. If your firm operates in a fast-evolving environment, you will need employees who are forward looking and who anticipate and plan for the future.


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These questions can tell you if your candidate meets those requirements. Forecast the evolution of this job. So please project or forecast at least five different ways that the job you are applying for will likely change and evolve over the next three years as a result of business changes, technology changes, and a faster, more innovative environment.

Forecast the evolution of this industry.

Subclinical Psychopaths

So, please tell us how often you sit down and focus on the future of our industry? Next, please forecast and project five trends in our industry and forecast how the top firms will likely have to change over the next three to five years as a result of these business changes, new technology, and the need for increased speed and innovation.

Many times our best hires are those who are rapid continuous learners, those who are adaptable, and those who can innovate. If you want to assess these factors, consider asking these questions. Show us how you would be a continuous learning expert. So please select an important subject matter area in this job where you will need to continuously be on the bleeding edge of knowledge. Then show us in some detail how you will initially learn and then maintain your expert status.

Show us your adaptability when dramatic change is required. So please show us how you would adapt to this situation that may occur in this job provide them with a possible major change that requires adaptivity in this job by walking us through the steps of how you would adapt to it.

Tell us the name of the situation that required this significant adaptiveness and then walk us through the steps of how you and your team successfully adapted. Show us how you will innovate. So please select a single important area in this job and walk us through the steps as to how you might innovate in that area during your first year? Other questions where ranked answers are superior in revealing their preferences involve their motivators, their strengths, and the best ways to manage them. List and rank your job acceptance factors.

And that requires knowing what factors that you will use i. So if you had a choice between two offers for your next job, please list the top five factors that you would use to evaluate and accept the superior job opportunity. Please list them in their descending order of importance to you. List and rank your job motivators. So please list the top five factors that you have found that best motivate you on the job. Tell us the most effective approaches for managing you.

You can help us to reach that goal by highlighting the most effective ways to manage you. For each of these how to manage you factors i. List and rank the capabilities that you bring to this job. So, given the four important categories of knowledge, experience, education, and skills, can you please list in descending order what you have found to be your strongest five capabilities that will make you a top performer in the job?

Hiring managers should be aware that thanks to social media, interview questions are now easily available to the public. In contrast, the questions I have provided here are designed to make rehearsing more difficult. They work best on sophisticated professionals who know how to identify and solve problems. Obviously asking good questions is only the first part of the assessment equation; you must also prepare a range of answers from great to weak for each question, so that you know in advance when you hear a great answer.

I have developed and used each of these questions professionally over several decades so I can vouch for their effectiveness. Whether you use my questions or develop your own, these types of questions are superior because they are focused on 1 real problems, 2 this job, and 3 your firm. This article looks to challenge a candidate who has little intimate knowledge of the idiosyncracies and intricate problems that you seem to have in your Company! Why havent your existing Smart Hires solved it already — duh! That is why we have trial periods…Jobs require people to work according to business strategies, plans and integrate for the good and greater group!

Unless you are COO and there to fix operational aspects this seems rather obscure questioning. The questions are Academic clap-trap and have no place in a hiring process. A hirer needs to explain the Company, what is expected and arrive at mutual agreement from both sides to have a good working relationship. Not everyone is a superhero which your questions require them to be. Long live decent, hard-working, honest folk who learn on the job — sometimes you hire good interviewers who make lousy employees…EQ, instinct and common sense is required in HR. Totally agree with you! This sort of rubbish makes for a completely ineffective interview process.

If I were a candidate and had to deal with these questions, I would immediately discard the company as a potential employer. Sad state of affairs. It is an HR Blog — Probably they are all HR people …l see another creeping in — Now poor candidates will be subjected to video interviews cheeky promotion in a post below … an interview is stressful enough so we are now trying to make it harder with awkward video interviewing and stupid questions.

I agree with you that these canned questions are a bit silly. I find that as a Recruiter it is best to make the interview as much of a conversation as possible and less of a stressful firing squad of corporate sounding questions. I do not agree with you that HR people and recruiters are on a whole somehow lacking in EQ or common sense. The blanket statement thing kind of makes you seem bitter and foolish. We could easily make blanket statements about all candidates being know-it-all nincompoops who are rude and have an over-inflated sense of their own value.

I am recommending your commentary as a precursor to reading this article. I went down to the commentary after the 2nd point left me thinking.. Thanks for making me both laugh, and finish that article. These are great questions to ask. Whether you are conducting a video or in person interview these questions can tell a lot. Too often people dwell on what candidates were responsible for doing at past jobs or asking strength and weakness questions or even life long personal goal questions.

Not that those questions are not useful, but what you really want is to find out why this candidate is the right fit for the specific position. These questions are tailored to do just that. After a long time i have seen someone being a specialist in modern day HR and employment texture. I have surely greatest of appreciation for this piece. I would like to meet the author in person and work with him. He is giving the hiring managers the real clue to creative and stable talent.

A great piece here. Author seems a specialist par excellence.


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HR people can get creative and stable talent. This is need of the hour.

Psychopathy in the workplace

Run of the Mill interviews are for mediocrity and just for it. Thank you for bringing out the sublimity. This is how to knw the mediocrity of a hiring team. Bla-bla-bla… Psychologizing everything is essential to frustrated HR people struck by their own incapacity.


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These HR guys spend well paid hours to fabricate all kind of lunatic questions what in fact will fail the real professionals and will admit the mouthed incapable. I can assure you that lousy interviewing is a problem found across corporate function managers, and is not limited to HR people. I agree with the critics here. There is NO silver bullet, and these questions are mainly looking for instant responses to strategic matters.

Luck will play a big part here. While I empathise with the critics, I cant say I totally agree.

Psychopathy in the workplace - Wikipedia

I assume that this article is aimed at middle level management and upwards, and of course, would not be universally applicable. These questions are not million miles away from case interview questions that consultancies use. These are important qualities in a candidate, and the author is pointing out a fact that these qualities are under represented from historical questions alone. For the candidates, Instead of repeating what are already in the CV, make best of the interview opp to stand out by showing your potentials. For the recruiter, similar questions like these might be able to help identify a suitable one in short time.

I would fail in sections A, B, and C. I also never hypothesize without data and, by definition, i have no data on a job I have not yet taken. If I knew that, I would not be applying for this job. I would make money with predictions. Uh, I google everything? I have just completed one year at my current job. I have had to innovate, learn, solve problems, be creative… do all those things that sections A, B, and C are seeking.

But at the interview, I would never ever have been able to come up with any responses close to what this year has entailed! As a company owner and employer, surely, it is incumbent upon me to keep innovatively up-to-date and solve whatever problems may arise — and not ask any employee to think for me, or do my job, without being paid the same salary, and without enjoying the perks that I enjoy? A competency based approach would ask these questions but based on previous experiences…tell me about a time when you innovated in your last role plus probing questions to identify what actually was done by the individual, why, how and with what outcomes!

A true prediction of how likely someone is to be innovative in the future. Most people can hypothesise about how they would perform and the true interview skill is to gain real life evidence of these skills in action. Now THIS is a good response. I do understand that most interviews are lame-enhanced.

I applaud a desire to make them different. But asking an interviewee to be psychic is a bit over the top. Better they do as Adele suggests, and offer examples of how they dealt with such things elsewhere. Found the information to be a waste of my time. It looks like someone who has never hired anyone wrote it. I agree that most people are bad interviewers and ask questions that have been rehearsed and rehashed.

However, it is important to know how a person performed in previous situations if those situations exist in your company. Leopards typically do not change their spots. If you need a proactive hands on sales manager then you need to ask candidates for examples of how they performed in past sales management situations. If they have performed successfully in the past chances are they can do it again.

It is why sports teams hire successful coaches. The problem is people are afraid to ask pointed questions that force the candidate to reveal their successes and more importantly their lack of successes. The fatal problem of this process is that answering ANY of these questions will likely knock a candidate out of contention. Oh well said, Allan! Far from being the only one interviewed, and put through a third-degree, companies ought to also be obliged by law to provide their CV and track-record on paper omitting nothing…and including their mission statement and credit rating, etc.

I have to totally agree with those panning this article. Were I subject to this kind of an interview, I would have to assume I am working for people with little, if any, real world knowledge of business or organizations. The answer to almost every question is people. Growth slows because of people. People are poorly motivated, poorly organized, poorly managed, or they are simply the wrong people for the job. My advice to a candidate subject to this nonsense in an interview — Get out. These people are fools. I dont think these example questions are bizarre at all. Using Behaviourally Anchored questioning can give you good insight into what behaviours candidates have used in the past and to what effects.

I think these questions can only add to the sum total of knowledge about a person. Using these questions they can potential capability in a number of different skill areas. They will be able to show the interviewer how they think, how they approach problems, how adaptable they are etc etc etc. The interviewer also gets interesting feedback about the jobs on offer and their organisation. This should result in high levels of counterproductive behaviour as employees give vent to their anger with the corporation, which they perceive to be acting through its corporate psychopathic managers in a way that is eminently unfair to them.

According to a UK study, a high ranking corporate psychopath could trigger lower ranked staff to become workplace bullies as a manifestation of counterproductive work behavior. Boddy makes the case that corporate psychopaths were instrumental in causing the —08 global financial crisis.

For example, during the financial crisis, the behaviour of some key people at the top of the world's largest banks came under scrutiny. At the time of its collapse in the Royal Bank of Scotland was the world's fifth largest bank by market capitalisation. CEO Fred "the Shred" Goodwin was known for taking excessive risks and showing little concern for his mismanagement, which led to the bank's collapse. Goodwin's demeanour toward colleagues was unpredictable and he is said to have lived a luxury lifestyle while fostering a culture of fear , such that "colleagues suspected he was a psychopath".

Renowned psychotherapist Professor Manfred F. From an organizational perspective, organizations can insulate themselves from the organizational psychopath by taking the following steps when recruiting: There have been anecdotal reports that at least one UK bank was using a psychopathy measure to actively recruit psychopaths. Narcissism, lack of self-regulation, lack of remorse, and lack of conscience have been identified as traits displayed by bullies. These traits are shared with psychopaths, indicating that there is some theoretical cross-over between bullies and psychopaths.

According to Boddy, there are two types of bullying: A corporate psychopath uses instrumental bullying to further his goals of promotion and power as the result of causing confusion and divide and rule. People with high scores on a psychopathy rating scale are more likely to engage in bullying, crime, and drug use than other people. A workplace bully or abuser will often have issues with social functioning. These types of people often have psychopathic traits that are difficult to identify in the hiring and promotion process.

These individuals often lack anger management skills and have a distorted sense of reality. Consequently, when confronted with the accusation of abuse, the abuser is not aware that any harm was done. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Financial crisis of Abusive power and control Abusive supervision Culture of fear Extreme careerism Kiss up kick down Machiavellianism in the workplace Micromanagement Narcissism in the workplace Occupational health psychology Petty tyranny The Corporation film Toxic leader Toxic workplace.

When Psychopaths Go to Work.

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Psychology Crime and Law. You may be a psychopath, study shows". Retrieved 13 February Retrieved 17 December Frontiers in Psychology, 8. A meta-analysis of the dark triad and work outcomes: A social exchange perspective. The Journal of Applied Psychology 97, — The social stressors-counterproductive work behaviors link: Are conflicts with supervisors and coworkers the same?

Journal of Occupational Health Psychology 11, — Retrieved 25 December Fraser said last week: Factor structure of the B-Scan A measure of corporate psychopathy. Psychological Assessment Vol 25 1 , Mar , — The role of the consulting psychologist in the prevention, detection, and correction of bullying and mobbing in the workplace. Consulting Psychology Journal 61 3 , — In fiction In the workplace.