Interviewing Skills Training Course: QUESTIONING SKILLS P1

Our one-day interviewing skills course is tailored for delegates who would like to gain better interviewing skills and learn how to conduct successful interviews for choosing the right employee(s). Our Interviewing course will show candidates how to; gain winning interview skills; give better interviews; be a better interviewer and learn how to interview effectively. As well as improving interviewing skills, delegates will also learn recruitment and employment law.


The Open Question

It is best to start with an open question. Open questions start with words ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘why’, ‘when’, ‘which’ and ‘how’. They encourage the candidate to open up and talk more. The more open the question, the wider the answer. The candidate can offer what he/she thinks is most important. However, too general a question, “Tell me about yourself” can be difficult to answer.

You will get nowhere if the applicant responds to all your questions with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or ‘3 years and 5 months’. The key is in how you ask the question. It is impossible to give one-word answers to almost any question which begins with how, what, where, why or when.

The things you need to explore include:

1.     Not just who they worked for but what they did in the job. What was their contribution?

2.    What did they learn from the job? Therefore what can they bring to you from that experience?

3.    Why did they leave the previous employer and how did a subsequent job match their expectations – in other words is there logic or growth in their career history?

4.    How did their reasons for leaving and joining different organisations match with their starting and leaving salaries? Is claimed career progression matched by salary progression?

Examples of  good open questions: Open questions are especially useful to get nervous candidates to talk:

“I see from your CV that you…tell me about it”

“I’d like you to tell me about a time when…”

“How do you go about…?”

“Tell me about your job responsibilities.”

“Tell me about a typical day.” (This helps you to see what areas you could probe on).

 “What sort of problems do you encounter in your job?”

“What targets and objectives do you work to?”

“How do you monitor performance?”

 “How do you organise your work schedule?”

“What do you like most/least? Why?”

“What are your strengths?”

“What have you done to address your development areas?”

‘Follow up’ or probe questions

Use when you do not have enough information, or to discourage vague answers.

Tell me more about…”, or “Can we go into this a little deeper?”

Further examples of ‘follow up’/ probe questions are:

“How did you tackle that?”

“Why did you do that?”

“What else were you aware of?”

“Would you enlarge a little on that for me please?”

The Closed Question

These questions can be used to probe for specific information, or to control an over talkative person. But used too often, they make an interview sound like an interrogation.

Examples are:

“Did you…?”    “Have you…?”

“Could you…?”     “Will you…?”

Comparison Question – this is an effective, ‘open’-style question

“How did that project compare with the previous one?”

People find this easier to answer than direct questions about their likes and dislikes. It is also a useful question for exploring attitudes.

Scenario Based Question – this gives the candidate the opportunity to impress you with their ability to think things through

The key to this type of question is to give the candidate a typical scenario to see how they would handle it. Important to discover if they have skills, techniques and strategies that they can use in your organisation. “Tell me what you would do in this situation when………….?”

Learning or Reflecting Questions

These questions are used to gauge what the candidate has learnt from his current job or projects within it. Answers may reveal what skills were used, and even how that learning has been applied since, e.g. ‘What did you learn from that?’ ‘How would you apply that to your current job?’

Link or Bridging Questions

“Thank you, I was very interested in…can we now move on to talk about that?”

This is a polite way of moving your candidate on to the next area without seeming abrupt.

Final Question

“Is there anything we have not covered that you would like to add?”

Such a question can lead to important additional information.

Interviewing Skills Course

This course will cover the practical skills needed for successful interviewing and our reputation for effective recruitment training has been endorsed by many delegates. Those who have attended the course have described it as being productive, informative and focused. It allows delegates to understand the stages of carrying out interviews and shows them how to conduct an effective interview so that they are able to attract the best candidates and choose the best person for the job. We guarantee to deliver the best employment strategies, tips and techniques for better interviewing and recruiting skills.

Course Dates

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Who will benefit from the course?

Our course will cover the practical skills needed to make recruitment interviews productive and focused. It will allow delegates to understand the stages of the recruitment process and how to conduct an effective interview so that they are able to attract the best candidates and choose the best person for the job.

Our courses allow all staff to benefit from enhanced interviewing skills. The types of delegate we have trained previously are:

  • Directors and senior managers
  • Sales and fundraising staff
  • Local government employees
  • Managers, department heads, team leaders and supervisors
  • Technical and academic team members

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