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The truth about ineffective interview questions...

There are no ineffective interview questions. There, I said it. As crazy as some questions might be (think ‘what animal do you want to be?’) if you have a plan and purpose for asking the question, it is not only effective, but the answer could be a powerful factor in your hiring decision. This is a key element of smart recruiting.

You should be looking for specific answers to your questions that offer clues to personality, motivation, and skill.  When our recruiters at TalentSource submit top professional talent to you, they have already gone through our initial screening and interview process.  It can be difficult to determine the best candidate when skill and resume qualifications appear to be equal. Your interview questions are looking to see if the candidate will fit into your corporate culture, what motivates them, and how they handle conflict.

When interviewing on any level, be on the lookout for obvious red flags:

  • Energy Level – you want to see sparks of enthusiasm and passion for the job.
  • Too much work – a workaholic doesn’t make a great employee and is prone to creating (or contributing to) a toxic work environment. Well-rounded individuals are the most successful, and that is what you want.
  • Strange answers – candidates should keep answers professional, that isn’t to say injecting humor is wrong if nothing inappropriate is said.   
  • Canned answers – look for answers that seem like responses you want to hear. When a canned response comes up, ask for specifics in follow-up questions. If they are unable to relate to personal experience or if answers still feel generic, this may be a sign of a lack of experience and skill.
  • Self-esteem – Exaggerating achievements or lack of achievement examples are both red flags.


To use a sports analogy, every possession counts; this is your chance to score and win. With TalentSource’s tips, you will find the perfect candidate. 574.968.8676