Recruitment exercises can be time consuming and costly. Employers should plan as far in advance as possible to avoid any unnecessary costs associated with the recruitment and selection process.

The type of questions employers ask during the interview stages are critical if employers wish to rely on the responses to demine the applicant’s suitability for the role.

This article will review the advantages and disadvantage of using open and closed questions and should give employers an opportunity to consider the relevance and importance of setting interview questions.

Open-Ended Questions

Generally give candidates the ability to state their response and elaborate on it.   Examples "Tell me about your past work experience." "What are you looking to gain from your next position?"

• Gives candidate the ability to expand on their knowledge, strengths and job experiences
• Allows employer to test candidate’s motivation level, communication skills and ability to problem solve.
• Allows employer to get a feel for candidate’s potential and level of interest
• Allows employer to look for noticeable concerns

• Miscommunication between employer and candidate
• Candidate may take up a significant amount of time in answering a question
• Candidate may answer the questions based upon what they think the employer wants to hear instead of how they really feel

Close-Ended Questions

Generally candidates will response with solid answer.

Examples: "How many years of experience do you have as a team leader, "Have you ever worked from home?"

• Allows employer to receive a direct response from the candidate
• Gives employer control of the question and response
• Allows employer to uncover specific information from and about the candidate
• Gives employer full control of the direction of the interview

• Does not allow candidate to elaborate on their feelings or preferences towards topic
• Limits candidate from being able to demonstrate their abilities
• Leaves certain situations unanswered or unclear
• Frustrates candidates in not being able to explain or state relevant data

Please contact the advice line on 08448922786 for guidance on rating questions and avoiding discrimination claims which are mostly associated with recruitment and selection exercises.