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The one question you should never ask in job interviews

Posted by Bob Corlett on February 18, 2014

Given enough chances, every hiring manager will eventually hire someone incompetent — it’s as inevitable as death and taxes. And just as fun.

Some managers notch their first bad hire quickly, while others might go years before their first major hiring mistake. But if you hire enough people, eventually you'll pick someone who doesn't work out.

To boost the chances of preventing that hiring misstep, there's one easy tactic everyone should take in an interview: Stop asking candidates to evaluate their own abilities.

Here’s why. Underskilled candidates consistently overrate their abilities, and more skilled candidates consistently underrate their abilities. There’s even a name for this: the Dunning-Kruger effect, a psychological research finding that the poorest performers are the least aware of their own incompetence.

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