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March 1, 2023
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Too often we encounter interviewers asking yes-no questions during an interview, such as: ”Are you able to work in a high-pressure environment?” “Do you understand that most of the work is done with a team?” “We need people that are great storytellers, are you good at storytelling?” Here are 3 reasons why you shouldn’t ask yes-no questions: 1. Confirmation bias - when you ask highly directed questions and only give the candidate two options to answer, you invite bias from two directions. First, you are revealing to the candidate what is your anticipation or expectation; secondly, you are making it easy for the candidate to give you the answer you want. You are basically helping the candidate tell you what you want to hear. 2. Limited information - Rather than elaborating on their experiences and qualifications, yes-no questions only allow the interviewee to provide a simple answer that does not help the interviewer get a full understanding of the candidate's abilities and potential fit for the job. 3. Poor candidate experience - Yes-no questions do not allow the candidate to express themselves and can make the interview feel more like an interrogation, which can make the interviewee feel anxious and uncomfortable. When is it ok to ask yes-no questions: 1. When you are simply trying to validate information from the CV (”is it correct that you worked for 5 years in company X?”) 2. When you are managing expectations about job requirements (”This work is 2 days from the office and 3 days from home, are you ok with that?”)

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