The thing about the implicit rules
Often, this is because they feel it is unfair to ask such questions or feel that they are intentionally presented in a poorer light.
They assume that the rules of the game are implicit, that is, they think: "I prepare well and you ask me about it." These candidates confuse the interview, which is supposed to be a getting to know each other, with a test situation. You should take the perspective of the HR manager who has to find out whether applicants really fit the company.
What you can recognize by irrelevant questions
One possibility that HR staff have with them and that is very irritating to applicants: They can ask questions about the current interview situation - or questions that are irrelevant to the suitability assessment of the applicant, for example whether he prefers to drink still or carbonated water. What can you find out?
But also seemingly harmless, irrelevant questions For example the above-mentioned after the mineral water by the reaction of the applicant many conclusions. Among other things, you can find out the following:
- Does the applicant get upset?
- Does he openly reveal his irritation or surprise at the question, or does he not mind?
- Does he answer the question promptly or does he have to think about what he tells you for a long time?
- Is he even willing to answer questions that have nothing to do with the vacant position?
Questions about the interview situation
Questions about the current interview situation have the advantage that you can get a direct feedback from the applicant to his current state of mind. For example with the following questions:
- How do you rate the interview?
- What do you think the conversation is going well for you so far?
- How do you like our communication?
- Do you think I have a good impression of you?
- Why should I have a good impression of you?
- What do you think right now, at this moment?
- How are you feeling right now?
- Do you feel comfortable?
- What is going through your head?
- Which of your answers in this interview are you going to be annoyed with afterwards?
- Do you still feel like the conversation?
- How do you find me as a conversation partner?
- Would you like to go elsewhere now?
- Are you in a good mood today?
- Do not have any questions about me?
- Would you like to take a break now?
- How do you find our company name?
- What do you associate with our company?
If the applicant feels provoked
If you make provocative statements, applicants can also react angrily because they view your provocation as personal criticism and this is your reaction to such criticism.
Think about it at this point: How often does the applicant face such a situation in his job? And: How important is it to keep the rest in this situation?
Example: When offended responding applicants disqualify themselves
Let's assume that you want to hire a customer service representative from a bank. He should take care of complaints management. Can you afford to have this employee personally offended by customer complaints and criticism? Probably not. Can such a situation occur in everyday working life?
An angry reaction is also conceivable. For example, the candidate can roll his eyes or openly express his annoyance. This may be because he feels that you are not taking him seriously, interrupting him or having fun with him. The source of his annoyance may be the uncertainty that you caused in him by your surprising question.
What is the reaction?
Again, it is important that you think about whether such a situation can occur in your day-to-day work and how potentially angry reaction could be beneficial or harmful. If you have succeeded in surprising your candidate with your question, the next step is to closely monitor his reaction to the question.
The first reaction is often the same: surprise or surprise. It comes reflexively in response to the fact that you have disturbed the candidate's thought. He has expected another question or another subject and his amazement is an expression of that.
After this first surprise effect has subsided, which can only take a few fractions of a second, the applicant's follow-up reaction begins. This can now be quite different.
Positive or negative?
It is difficult to assess these responses as entirely positive or negative, since the assessment depends on the requirements of the position and the company. Our interpretation of the typical reactions that we list below for you is therefore deliberately general.
A possible reaction of the candidate is a long silence. This is often neither positive nor negative, since there is only a suggestion that the candidate was not prepared and therefore takes more time to think about a possible answer.
Is a quick response basically better?
If he has always answered very quickly, almost like shot from the gun, this gives you at least the information that the candidate was well prepared for the other questions.
The opposite reaction, a very fast response from the candidate, can be interpreted in at least two directions. The first is the possibility that the candidate was not really surprised because he was prepared for your question.
How important is this ability for the job
However, this is less likely to be the case, since classical or standardized questions are mainly asked in the majority of the applications. The second possibility of the interpretation is that the candidate is very quick-witted and quickly knows an answer to untypical questions.
In this case, it is up to you to assess whether this is a requirement that will also be useful to him in his endeavor. If so, it is a good thing that he could answer the question quickly or respond to you with something ready to go.
When applicants ask
Applicants are often so irritated by your question that you can hardly believe what they have just heard. And react accordingly. For example, it is not uncommon for applicants to ask again, for example whether they understand correctly, whether this is really your question, whether they expect a serious answer from them, etc.
At this point, you can ask the candidate for an answer again to see how he continues to respond. Inquiring can be an indication that the candidate is unsure and wants to reassure himself before answering.
Spontaneously - or not?
However, he can also use such a demand in order to gain time for himself and thus to think about an answer longer.
No matter how you assess a candidate's request, it is definitely not a sign of quick, spontaneous, or flexible behavior. Because this would mean that the candidate simply answers the question.
When candidates laugh
An also often observed behavior is that the candidate starts laughing. A laughter from the candidate can have a variety of reasons. One possibility is that the candidate amuses himself about your question or statement, because it is absurd to him, and from the context seized.
This is a perfectly understandable reaction, considering that the question actually comes very suddenly and in some cases no recognizable one Sense results. Another reason, however, may be that the candidate's laugh is an embarrassed laugh.
What is the significance of the behavior?
This laughter occurs when people are embarrassed by a situation or they do not know exactly how to react. If this is the case, you can ask yourself again: How relevant is the behavior shown for my decision? What does it say about the match of the candidate?
Generally speaking, about questions that serve the surprise of the candidate, say that you can get from observing the response of the candidates, important information about them. However, you can only ask a certain number of such surprising questions in a job interview.
Limit the number of surprises
Excessive use leads to a disruption in the flow of interviews or complete uncertainty and disorientation of your candidate. This would then for your suitability decision of great disadvantage.
The use of surprising questions should therefore be well balanced. It is especially recommended if you feel that you are dealing with a candidate who is not authentic.
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