Rather superficial questions lead to superficial answers
What you often hear are closed questions “Did you do this or that?” or “Are you familiar with …?” But who asks rather superficially, gets also only superficial answers. After the interviews there often remain question marks as to which technical knowledge and skills applicants really have and how profound these are.
Ignorance of interview techniques
Often the deficits in the formulation of good technical questions for application interviews lie in the ignorance of the executives which techniques can be used for it. This is where executive coaching can help. Recently we carried out such a coaching for one of our clients, a medium sized technology company. The positive feedback of the executives and some expressed positive that this was exactly the correct offer.
Coaching to formulate technical questions for application interviews
The starting point of the coaching was a short guideline describing three possible interview techniques. On this basis, the managers first created a pool of questions for typical vacancies or job families to be filled by them on their own initiative.
We then transferred these pre-formulated questions into a grid that depicts the three interview techniques. It quickly became apparent where reformulations (e.g. of closed questions) were necessary, isolated questions could be compiled into a story line or important question elements were missing. We then developed these together.
The management quickly caught fire. They varied their specialist questions for application interviews, which they had previously prepared using an interview technique, in the other two techniques. Or you picked out further specialist skills and applied the interview techniques in a playful way.
That’s exactly how it should be: You don’t have to ask the same technical questions, you can vary the technique. However, it is important that the respective question technique is applied consistently. This leads to a significant improvement in the quality of the formulation of technical questions. The applicants will notice it and the interviewers will also notice it: because the specialist knowledge can be assessed much better on the basis of the answers.