Articles & Resources

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.

Interview Technique to Assess Information Seekers

NEWSLETTER • volume 3 • number 2

We recently heard about a simple interview test one high-tech company uses to separate information seekers from assumption makers. We highly recommend it - it's fair, job related, and effective.

Ask candidates to imagine a friend who knows almost nothing about computers or software. The friend has just purchased a software package that doesn't run, so he calls the candidate for help. What are the first five questions the candidate would ask him? Good answers include the following:

"Is the computer plugged in properly and receiving power?" The question isn't really condescending (it happens to the best of us), particularly if the friend is a novice user. Better yet, it demonstrates that the candidate isn't making even the most obvious assumptions - exactly the kind of response you want from a strong information seeker.

"What did you expect and what is it doing now?" Once again, this questions avoids assumptions and keeps information flowing between the user and the candidate/support tech.

We especially like this approach because it's real, not contrived or manipulative. Plus, unlike hypothetical software, it works!