《严格招聘，轻松管理》（Hire Tough, Manage Easy）一书的作者麦尔•克莱曼认为，开始面试之前，“面试官应该列一个详细的清单”，其中应该针对每一个特殊位置的每一位求职者，列出自己需要了解的信息。克莱曼是德克萨斯州舒格兰市人力资源咨询公司Humetrics的总裁。这是最基本的东西，克莱曼说：“你能做这份工作吗？你在这个岗位上能否达到我们需要的优秀水平？你愿意做这份工作吗？你和我合得来吗？如果你被聘用，你能接受我们的文化吗？我们又是否能接受你的个性呢？”
克莱曼表示，这些并不是面试问题，而是模版。面试官可以通过这些模版设计问题，从中了解到“这个人是否适合这份工作，这份工作又是否适合这个人？”没有经验的面试官不会专注于引出他们需要的答案，而是会问一些生搬硬套的问题，“结果只能流于表面，无法了解那个人在面试花招背后的真实情况，”保罗•法尔科恩说。法尔科恩著有《招聘之前必须问的96个绝妙面试问题》（96 Great Interview Questions to Ask Before You Hire）一书。“他们的提问技巧没有任何逻辑性，”而且，他们对所有职位的所有求职者都会问相同类型的、最基本的问题。
What songs best describe your work ethic? How many cows are in Canada? A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?
Those queries come from the Top 25 Oddball Interview Questions for 2013, as compiled by the job hunters' website Glassdoor. Allegedly, they're all actual conversational gambits used by corporate interviewers.
You may think such questions could produce useful insights. Or you might see them as off the wall. But are your interview questions any better?
Managers tend to think of interviewing job candidates as "something that's easy," says Pamela Skillings, president and chief trainer at Skillful Communications in New York. Believing they've reached a career level where they have been magically imbued with the gift of giving a good job interview, such managers wing it and fail to prepare questions that will reveal the best potential employees. All too often, they get a penguin in a sombrero.
"They end up hiring someone who costs the company a lot" in wasted training time and salary expenses, Skillings says. "You try to fix the mistake you made in the interview process. Then you have to fire the person or move them into a different role, and you have to start over."
A bad interview "hurts the manager first," Skillings says. "A bad hire is going to come back to bite you."
Some managers try to protect themselves with vague questions of the "tell-me-about-yourself" variety. But experts say such prosaic questions produce answers of little use.
Before you sit down with job candidates, "you need a great shopping list" that lays out what you need to know about each applicant for a particular position, says Mel Kleiman, author of Hire Tough, Manage Easy and president of HR consulting firm Humetrics, which is based in Sugar Land, Texas. It's basic stuff, Kleiman says: "Can you do the job? Can you do the job at the degree of excellence needed? Will you do it? Can you and I live together? If you are hired, can you put up with our culture and [can] we put up with your personality?"
Those aren't the interview questions, Kleiman says. They're templates you can use to design questions whose answers will tell you, "Is this person right for the job and is this job right for the person?"
Rather than focusing on eliciting the answers they need, inexperienced interviewers often ask rote questions that "bounce along the surface without getting to know the real person behind the interview hype," says Paul Falcone, author of 96 Great Interview Questions to Ask Before You Hire. "There's not much rhyme or reason to their questioning techniques" and they ask the same basic types of questions to all candidates for all positions.
Falcone's examples of rote questions:
• Who was your favorite boss, and what would he or she say about you?
• Which position was your favorite and why?
• Why do you think you'd want to work here?
• What questions can I answer for you?