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Hiring employees is no easy task, just ask any HR or hiring manager and they will you. Some of them probably have their own lists of questions that they have compiled and use, during their years of experience.

Here are 4 Interview Questions to Avoid Hiring Toxic Employees according to Dianna Booher’s blog, in TLNT: Talent & HR online publication.

  1. Who are 3-5 people in the public arena or your personal or social life whom you admire and why? Responses here will reveal several things: How informed are they on local happenings, current affairs, politics, or pop culture? Does their response suggest they can’t think of anyone, or simply that they can’t narrow their choices? Were all choices from public life rather than personal or social circles? That may suggest few mentors or role models in their life. Why? If all choices are personal acquaintances, that may suggest non-involvement in the community or activities outside the home. Why? At least, their answers will reveal their values.
  • Can you recall ever seeing or hearing about someone mistreated in the workplace? How did you handle or react to the situation? Their answers will reveal values and ethics. You’re also judging their capacity to feel empathy and compassion. Further, the action they took in this situation tells you about their ability to persuade others to stop the mistreatment or otherwise correct the situation. Their response also tells you about their tolerance for risk (if they had to act alone to stop the mistreatment). Did they risk their own reputation or even their own job to do the right thing?
  • Would you tell me about a particularly bad day you’ve had this past year or two — a day when nothing was routine and almost everything went wrong? How did you deal with all the stress and calamity? Their response gives you some perspective on what happenings they consider “routine” versus “calamity” and “particularly bad.” But what you’re really looking for is their coping mechanisms — both emotional stability and resourcefulness. Listen carefully to the retelling for words like “so upset,” “so angry,” “had a major meltdown,” “went ballistic,” “frantic,” “just beside myself with worry.”
  • Explain a new idea to me. For example, take a complex term, product, service, or project in a past job and explain it to me so well that I could teach a session on it tomorrow. I’ve yet to meet the job applicant who admits to having weak communication skills. In my three decades of reviewing résumés and making hire decisions, job candidates routinely claim some version of “excellent oral and written communication skills.” This exercise aims to test that boast. As the applicant explains the concept, interrupt with questions along the way to see how they react.

Bottomline: To ensure the success of your business, you need to hire the best job candidates and provide them with the support they need to grow in their jobs. And in these strange COVID-19 times, you are likely to conduct your interviews virtually, which in and of itself, can present a different set of challenges.

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