Mortal Interviewing Sins: Qualified Questions

Most interviewers and interviewees qualify their questions too much. Meaning, you ask a question and then provide options for what the answer might be before an answer is provided. Qualified questions are inherently close-ended and will net sub-par insight for the interview. They choke authentic information flow.

Qualified questions can mean a few things.

– The question may be poorly structured and qualification is required to clarify. This means more question prep is needed.
– The questioner may be uncertain that the answerer understands the context of the question. This needs to be assessed without qualification. Don’t throw lifejackets in an interview, this complicates assessing their qualifications.
– The questioner may be insecure about the validity of their question and needs to validate its importance. This means it is time to invest more in personal growth.

A good interview question is beautifully simple. No compound questions and no explanation. If the question is unclear, let a clarifying question be asked by the other. See where they go with it. Much can be determined about humility and communication skills by observing what someone does with good questions and bad.

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Author: TJ Kastning

TJ Kastning is the proud owner of Ambassador Search Group, a special high-touch, trust-based, old-fashioned headhunting firm serving only the best west coast companies.

To contact him email tj@ambassadorgroup.com.

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