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Find out about your job candidate's REAL strengths and weaknesses

by , 12 May 2014
When it comes to interviews, you probably ask the same questions again and again. You're not the only one though, most recruiters do. And that's why candidates can predict what you're going to ask. This means they're able to prepare and rehearse answers to the standard questions you're going to ask. If you want truthful answers from your candidates you'll need to be clever about it. Here's what you can do...

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Do you know how the Employment Equity Act affects your job advertisement?
Do you know what checks you can legally conduct on an applicant?
Are you sure your employment contract includes the 16 clauses the law says you must have?
If you don't have all of these aspects correct, you'll be on the wrong side of the law when it comes to your recruitment process.

Discover a job candidate's real strengths and weaknesses using these tips

If you want to find out about your job candidates true strengths and weaknesses, we suggest you:
- Avoid predictable job interview questions;
- Watch out for rehearsed answers;
- Find clever ways to ask the questions; and
- Make the candidate perform a task.
Here's a bit more about each of these.
Predictable job interview questions 
Predictable questions such as 'what are your strengths and weaknesses' are a waste of time.
If your job candidate can predict the question, they can rehearse the answer. This means they'll tell you what you want to hear and not the truth.
Rehearsed answers
If a candidate answers too quickly and has the perfect answer, he may have rehearsed it. If you see this, dig a bit deeper and try ask the question again in a different way.
To gauge a candidate's true strengths and weaknesses you need to get creative with questions and tasks. Try these...
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Use clever questions and tasks in job interviews

Clever question 
Instead of asking 'what are your strengths and weaknesses?' try asking 'Where have you excelled in your job?' and 'What do you think you could improve on?'
Clever phrasing of questions for an interview will throw candidates enough that they'll struggle to use rehearsed answers.
Use tasks
The Practical Guide to Human Resources for Managers says 'task simulation interview tests' and 'job-specific exercises' can be very effective.
Both can help you assess job and task related strengths and weaknesses better than any question can.
Use these job interview tips to get a good idea of the job candidate's strengths and weaknesses. And remember to double check any answers or results you get in the interview with a thorough reference check.

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