How to Frame Interview Questions

First, let’s grab a fast definition of the word frame:

“To carefully plan the way you are going to ask a question, make a statement, etc.”

If you take a bit of time to frame your interview questions, you’ll get answers that are considerably more valuable to you.

You do not want the candidate trying to decipher what the question means or taking time to create what they believe is a desirable answer.

As an example:

“At your last job, what would you say was the most difficult project you worked on and how did your interaction with other employees impact the success of this project?”

Being a long-winded question, your candidate is likely trying to figure out what the question is and how to best answer it.

Use simple, short questions with instantly understandable words.

Using this same example, you can break it down this way:

“What was the most difficult project you worked on at your last job?”

and, when that is answered:

“What help did you get from other employees on this project?”

and, then:

“How often did you ask for help from other employees on this project?”

So, the long-winded question — not immediately understandable — is now broken into three simple parts, each part instantly understandable and more likely to produce unrehearsed answers.

The simpler, the more direct the questions, the more likely you’ll get to the facts. It’s also a point of speed. If you ask a simple, direct question, there’s less reason for any delay in answering it.

Look over your interview questions and work out “framing” them so they can be instantly understood and — ideally — quickly answered. This will help you get the information you’re looking for.

As the law varies in each area, please check with an attorney to ensure you are applying these tips within the law.

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