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Tip of the week: Beware of analogies in interview questions

Reason: “You walk into the room with a hot prospect and it’s a real ‘bottom of the 9th situation’, bases loaded, two outs, two strikes. What are you going to do to make sure you get the sale?” How do you think a baseball fan would answer this question vs. someone who doesn’t recognize that this is a reference to baseball? Would the candidate get the sense of the desperate tension, that the whole company is holding its breath as it all comes down to you and this prospect? Or perhaps, would they assume something different? When asking questions, avoid relying on analogies to convey critical information or emotion as they can bias responses based on someone’s irrelevant knowledge and experiences (like knowledge of baseball to get a sales position). For example, if you are using the ‘bottom of the 9th’, add clarifying language such as “making the quarter numbers comes down to this one sale” so that non-fans can answer the question effectively.

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