Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Hiring Job Interviews Listening Manipulation Job Applicants

I just interviewed a candidate with a good background for a telemarketing position in our company. The only problem was that he kept turning his answers into questions for me, and I don't feel I got enough information from him. I encouraged him to hold his questions, but that did not deter him. What should I do from here?

Many applicants are advised that the more they get the interviewer to talk, the more the interviewer will like them. There's a good deal of truth to this adage, but it sounds like your applicant went over the top in applying it.

The real problem is that this applicant did not listen. You clearly told him to hold his questions, but he rejected that suggestion and continued down his interrogatory path. And, if he doesn't listen to you during a job interview, what does that tell you about the way that he will act if you hire him?

While asking questions is extremely important in a telemarketing position, it is just as important to listen to the answers. Questions help a salesperson identify the prospect's needs and then adjust his or her presentation to meet them. This applicant sounds like he was only interested in getting you talking, and not in what you were saying.

If you still feel that he would be a good addition to the team, bring him back for another interview. Regardless of the first interview, second interviews are very helpful ways to get beyond the initial superficialities. Give this applicant the ground rules of the interview, and then see whose rules he plays by.

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!