In his book, The Manager’s Book of Questions: 1,001 Great Interview Questions for Hiring the Right Person, John Kador identifies seven types of questions that serve specific purposes in a job interview:

  • Icebreaker and Background Questions
  • Behavioral Questions
  • Questions to Determine Fit
  • Core Competency Questions
  • Ethics Questions
  • Brainteaser Questions
  • Closing Questions

Each type of question has its place, yet you must know how to interpret each response. After all, “the specific content of the answer is rarely the key element you should be listening for” (Kador xvi). Even non-verbal cues like body language and eye contact reveal volumes about an applicant.

Insight has experience with each type of question, and the one we find most revelatory is behavioral. Kador hypothesizes that “the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in a similar situation,” and we couldn’t agree more. Past performance is related to instinct, which is what the tools that Insight uses -- the Kolbe Indexes®. We also use the Whole Mind Assessment process.  Contact us for more information.

Asking the right questions doesn’t always involve questions

As Kador notes, behavioral questions are focused and offer possibilities for follow-up (9). They take the form of “Tell me about . . .” imperative statements rather than interrogative sentences. They investigate reality rather than hypothetical situations, requiring the interviewee to explain how they did respond to a situation rather than how they would respond.

Kador’s book offers 187 behavioral questions, each naturally fitting into a specific script or line of questioning that he also provides. He reflects briefly on the shift in the hiring process from one that Human Resources once managed from start to finish to one that Human Resources initiates by qualifying an applicant before passing his or her name on to another department for further interviews. That shift means that employees previously removed from the hiring process are now playing the vital role of interviewer and need to be well-prepared (Kador xiii).

Consider learning from the experts

Because the current job market is so competitive you may be tempted to rely on a down market providing top-notch applicants who are desperate for the job. We maintain that résumés alone are insufficient to determine which applicant is the right hire. Insight’s extensive experience in the hiring process and performance management gives us, well, insight into a prospective employee’s overall fit and the potential contributions to your organization. To ensure a meaningful, successful hiring process we recommend reviewing The Manager’s Book of Questions and also working with an expert who can guide you through the interviewing process. Contact us to talk more specifically about what a partnership between Insight and your organization could look like and what results you can expect.

Kador, John. The Manager’s Book of Questions. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006.

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