We give a lot of advice to people looking for jobs. Well, now it’s time for a little advice for the hiring managers. Here are a few common interview questions that the experts say to avoid asking: 

  • For example – don’t ask: What’s your biggest weakness? The question is in so many interview-prep books, that nearly every applicant has a canned answer. But it’s not very helpful to hear “I work too much,” or “I'm a perfectionist.” And we should be able to make our own judgments about the applicant’s weaknesses. 

  • Another interview question not to ask: Do you think you can handle this workload? Um, who’s going to say no? The experts say we’re better off asking about the applicant’s past to find out how they already operate, like: “How many customers did you deal on a daily basis? And how did you stay on top of things?” 

  • Experts also suggest we avoid asking things like: What does your husband do? or Do you have kids? It’s not illegal to ask those questions. But it’s illegal to use the answers to make a hiring decision. So, the answers are useless. And the applicant may start wondering if your company is intentionally trying to discriminate against them. 

  • The final job interview questions not to ask: Goofy, off-the-wall questions, like, “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?” Or “What would I find in your refrigerator right now?” You may think it shows how fast an applicant thinks on their feet. But you’ll get more pertinent info by asking questions about their background and experience. However – you can make those more clever, by asking something like, “What’s the worst job you ever had?” You’ll find out if they’re the type to bash an employer – if they can see where their own skills fall short – AND if they can think on their feet.