Are Interviewees Too Practiced These Days?

Hailey Jiang
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Picture this: it’s your fifth interview of the day. You can’t help but yawn as you ask the same questions and take notes again. Wait. Why does the answer to question 6 sound so familiar? And why do your notes for question 5 look the same as the second interview? Why are everyone’s responses exactly the same?

There are 1,150,000,000 Google results for “most commonly asked interview questions.” Candidates now have access to hundreds of sites with commonly asked interview questions to help them prepare. Interviewees these days have the same responses to interview questions, which does not bode well for hiring companies. Let’s explore what’s going on.

Why is this happening?
Companies these days are placing too much importance on job interviews. One job opening can require a double-digit number of interviews, a process called “death by interview.” Candidates are starting to pick up on what companies like to hear. There are also countless sites on the internet on commonly asked interview questions and how to prepare for an interview. Candidates are recommended to spend at least ten hours preparing for an interview.

Why is this bad?
A job interview is similar to a first date. Everyone is on their best behavior and wants to show the best version of themselves. It’s nearly impossible to predict the future and how a candidate will perform based on one interview (or more!). Furthermore, more than 80% of people have admitted to lying in an interview before. Companies use interviews to learn more about a candidate’s experience, skills, and personality. However, if everyone has the same answers to interview questions, there is no difference in what employers learn through the interview from candidate to candidate. Some people are even coached by employees. Employees can give candidates tips on how to interview for their specific company and how to get hired.

How can you fix this?
The first thing you should do as an employer is stop putting so much emphasis on job interviews. It’s been proven that interviewers favor those who are more similar to them in terms of background, skills, and personality. Interviews are inherently subjective, so it’s best to not put so much weight on them. Instead, focus more on a candidate’s skills and past experiences.

Next, change up your interview process. Before the interview, jot down a couple of qualities you hope to see in candidates. Instead of just asking the same clichéd questions, put your candidates’ skills to the test. Give them a real-life situation and see what their solution is. 

In today’s world of fast technology, interviews are starting to feel less valuable however, we’re not in a place to get rid of them during the hiring process. Changing the interview structure and adding questions that people can’t predict can ensure that you’ll receive candid and truthful responses.


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