Open-Ended Questions Improve Technical Recruiting

As I have shared previously, open-ended questions help you to elicit more information from job candidates during the interview process. Another good open-ended question is, β€œWhat does that mean?” You want to ask, β€œWhat does that mean?” in conjunction with other interview questions such as, β€œWhat do you do?” Please go to to learn more.

Using open-ended questions like this will prevent job candidates from talking in generalities during their interviews and help you to better pinpoint their true job skills per your employment requirements. For example, many engineers, scientists, or IT, R&D and technical professionals may talk only in terms of job tasks or working as part of a team or using some sort of technical tool (e.g. An electrical engineer sharing that they used Altium Designer for FPGA and ASIC design engineering or Schematic/board design for communications).

Instead, you really need to push R&D, engineering, scientific, IT and technical candidates to provide more than vanilla answers during your interview process. Using open-ended questions like, β€œwhat does that mean?” will help your technical recruiters to do just that. Train your internal management recruiters to use, reword and reuse open-ended questions like this throughout the interview. For example, when a design engineer says they are proficient in Pro-E ask them open-ended follow-up questions such as: a) β€œwhat does that mean?” b) β€œhow many years experience do you have with Pro-E?” c) β€œwhat have you designed using Pro-E?” and d) β€œcan you share any design drawings from your Pro-E work?” In other words do not just rely upon engineering, scientific and technical candidates simple and general answers. Use open-ended questions not only as stand alone questions, but also follow up questions to extract more information.

Remember, research shows that open-ended questions like β€œwhat does that mean?” tend to obtain more information from R&D, engineering, scientific, IT and technical candidates during the interview process. Do not just accept general and simple answers from these candidates. Instead train your internal management recruiters to use open-ended questions. Also, demand from your external executive recruiters to use open-ended questions. The benefit to you will be more information from your prospective job candidates.

What is your opinion?