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Designing Powerful Job Interview Questions (Part 1)

So now that we have looked at the questions to keep away from when planning to interview your screened candidates now let’s look at those that need to be covered if you are to successfully decipher low from high performers.

Low performers and high performers react quite differently to certain situations and yet very much the same to others. For example, many of the questions that we covered in the previous blog – “Interview Questions that you Don’t Ask!” can merely elicit standard well rehearsed responses which will not serve you well in sorting out those low and high performers!

So we need to adopt questions that will differentiate – designed to elicit responses that will uncover whether or not the candidate has the right attitudes that will more likely lead to behavioural characteristics that are displayed in your organisations top performers.

From research carried out by Mark Murphy (2012) Leadership IQ, it was found that the following situations are amongst those that are likely to provide that differential that we are seeking;

  1. Response to significant change (positive and often exhilarated vs avoidance)
  2. Problem resolution (searches out solutions vs pushing aside or to someone else)
  3. Learning new skills (embraces new ground vs excuses around why not possible)
  4. Encountering failure (examines own performance for improvement vs blaming others)
  5. Being given the credit (not a focus vs high maintenance/much stroking!)

So now we can think about designing interview questions that will help to draw out responses that will highlight differences in attitude and approaches that will better allow us to identify which candidates are more likely to be high performers.

What others are saying

Cheryl, I just love how professional you are, every step of the way you ace it! A big thank you for your help and guidance.

Nicky Pellegriti - TAS Assistant, MSBC

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for the valuable assistance you’ve given me during my job search, you have generously shared your expertise.

Zoe, P - EA, CAS

I can’t thank you enough for your support in helping me secure the SJOG role, working with you is always such a positive experience!

Lynn Devitt - Casa Venegas, St John of God

I would just like to extend my gratitude for walking alongside me on this journey, thank you a hundred fold.

Abbel Gaspi - Project Officer, Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney

We really enjoyed your time with our team, there was much learned about ourselves and each other, thanks again for your wise guidance.

Megan, S - MBTI Workshop

You have been the best recruiter I have met, committed, caring and with a strong work ethic.

Natalie Centoira - Placed candidate

Thanks for your professionalism, support and assistance.

Sonia Perez - Human Resources Manager, Oakhill College

Thank you so much for the opportunity to win the role with Envy Jewellery, I am enjoying it so much that I hope to be here for years to come!

Raewyn Wilson - Customer Service Coordinator, Envy Jewellery

Thanks to Cheryl and the team at McCormack’s for yet again sourcing an appropriate applicant and successfully filling an unusual vacancy at our College.  I would not hesitate to recommend their services.

Joanne Kessey - Secretary to Mr Michael Blake, College Principal, Champagnat Catholic College Pagewood

I want to take a moment to thank you for all the support you’ve shown me throughout my job search process. I am so appreciative of not only the way you made me feel at our first meeting but your generosity with your time and resources.

Donna Laney - Senior Administration Officer – Student Services, Mt St Benedict College

Once again Cheryl, you have found a great position that suits my needs and skills. I will be forever grateful to you.

Kerrie Scarpellino - Placed Candidate

I am absolutely thrilled to be offered permanency. I wish to greatly thank you for all the effort in securing this position and for believing in me and encouraging me to move forward.

Nancy M - Placed Candidate, Catholic Cemeteries & Crematoria

I am most grateful for the employment opportunities McCormack Employment gave me while I was studying and between jobs. Please pass on my kind regards to Cheryl, I am indebted to her for finding me such great jobs when I needed them.

Elizabeth Killey - Placed Candidate

Thank you for assigning great staff to our office, always helpful and proactive.

Mary Harrison - Sydney Catholic Schools, Southern Region

Thank you for your very kind donation to the Catholic Education Foundation Indigenous Bursary Program, it is greatly appreciated and we value your support of the Catholic Education Foundation.

Kathy Campbell - Head: Policy & Corporate Services, Catholic Education Foundation