During the information gathering stage of an interview you will ask questions that are critical to discovering the applicant’s knowledge and skill levels. The following questioning techniques can be helpful:
- Past Behavior-based questions refer to situations the applicant has handled in the past. Rather than asking, “What would you do if…?” questions, try “Tell me about a time when…” This helps separate those who know the answers from those who know how to implement their knowledge.
- Contrary Evidence questions are those that help you learn about the applicant’s not-so-perfect experiences. If during the past behavior-based questioning the applicant provides only great experiences, you might ask, “Tell me about a time when your actions produced a less than desirable outcome. How did you handle the situation? What did you learn from the experience?”
- Open-ended questions are those that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. They help you get details from the applicant, as well as offering an opportunity to evaluate communication skills.