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We provide competency-based behavioral interviewing training for interview teams including hiring managers, recruiters, and interviewers. We have been publishing articles for over 40 years to address the myriad of issues encountered in the process of hiring top talent.

Cookie Cutter Interviews

Newsletter • volume 1 • number 5

According to the Wall Street Journal, some students show up an hour before the interview to quiz their just-interviewed friends on the recruiter's techniques. Many campus interviewers use the same questions all day long. By learning in advance how the interview will be conducted, savvy students gain a definite advantage over other students seeking the same job.

It is possible to conduct fair interviews without becoming vulnerable to the campus grapevine. The best way for a campus recruiter to approach students is to look at each as a unique individual.

It is acceptable to ask a few specific questions, but they should be tailored to each candidate. For example, to distinguish independence versus a team player attitude, ask the candidate who is on the basketball team to give examples of asserting independence in a team environment. The biology major may be asked about preference for conducting research alone or in a team.

Either question probes the same qualities, but is less likely to appear applicable to other applicants. When recruiters vary their styles, they get away from cookie-cutter interviews, and retain control and respect during the recruitment process.