Employee Benefit Views

Cut to the chase: The only 3 interview questions that matter

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Posted February 15, 2012 by By Kelley M. Butler at 04:12PM. Comments (4)

 

In the nearly seven years that I’ve been the Editor of EBN, I don’t think my husband has read the magazine cover to cover once. Those on the outside looking in might mistake that for his disinterest in my job or non-support of my career—and they would be quite wrong. On the contrary, my Mr. is always sending me info nuggets he thinks you all would find interesting on the blog, including the one that sparked today’s post. 
A few days ago, he passed along a link to a Forbes blog post stating there are only three—yes, three—questions that truly matter when interviewing job candidates. And not one of them is, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” 
They are: 
Can you do the job? 
Will you love the job?
Can we tolerate working with you?
I love it—think of all the time it will save doing interviews! As the author of the Forbes item points out these simple three queries drill down on what’s most important: a candidate’s strengths, a candidate’s motivation and whether a candidate will fit in at your organization. 
I don’t know about you, but I will from now on plan all interview questions as open-ended versions of these three. If there are two things I love, they are brevity and cutting through the fluff. This approach to interviewing achieves both. 
What do you think? Are there other must-ask interview questions or do these three pretty well cover everything? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

 

In the nearly seven years that I’ve been the Editor of EBN, I don’t think my husband has read the magazine cover to cover once. Those on the outside looking in might mistake that for his disinterest in my job or non-support of my career — and they would be quite wrong. On the contrary, my Mr. is always sending me info nuggets he thinks you all would find interesting on the blog, including the one that sparked today’s post. 

 

A few days ago, he passed along a link to a Forbes blog post stating there are only three — yes, three — questions that truly matter when interviewing job candidates. And not one of them is, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” 

 

They are: 

Can you do the job? 

Will you love the job?

Can we tolerate working with you?

 

I love it — think of all the time it will save doing interviews! As the author of the Forbes item points out these simple three queries drill down on what’s most important: a candidate’s strengths, a candidate’s motivation and whether a candidate will fit in at your organization. 

 

I don’t know about you, but I will from now on plan all interview questions as open-ended versions of these three. If there are two things I love, they are brevity and cutting through the fluff. This approach to interviewing achieves both. 

 

What do you think? Are there other must-ask interview questions or do these three pretty well cover everything? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

 

 

4 Comments

Posted by: Frank N | February 29, 2012 3:48 PM

Agree 3 questions for an up or down decision...

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Posted by: Doug S | February 20, 2012 2:40 PM

Great "cut to the chase" summary. Though probably stated "tongue in cheek," I don't like "tolerate" in item 3. I want employees with whom both we and they will thrive working together, not just tolerate one another.

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Posted by: Larry G | February 16, 2012 3:50 PM

Agree and as an experienced headhunter I would add one more question:"Can we afford you and can you afford us?"

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Posted by: Renee V | February 16, 2012 1:40 PM

Amen. I'm tired of all the fluff. That is really all I want to know when I hire someone, and I would be so glad to only answer those three when I interview. Really, I think that was the original idea behind the current questions, but upfront Can you? Will you? Can we? cuts to the chase and gets it done for both parties.

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