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From The Archive

20. Don't conduct junk interviews.
Employers routinely waste time in interviews by asking the wrong questions. There are two kinds of interview questions: legitimate questions and junk questions.

Legitimate questions are specifically about the work and about the candidate's ability to do it. These need to be asked first, because the answers will determine whether the interview should continue. Junk questions are ones the manager feels he should ask either because they're on a list the personnel department gave him, or because he's heard they're popular questions.

Some questions may be clever or interesting. But, if they're not about the work, put them aside until you've determined the candidate can do the job. Don't waste your time, or the candidate's. Review your list of questions: what's legitimate and what's junk? Don't conduct junk interviews.

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