The key to successful interview questions is not just what you ask, but why you ask it. It’s not about having a canned list of questions, but a strategy for each role. John Sullivan writes in Harvard Business Review about how to craft questions that will yield successful candidates. He offers one key caution: Be wary of historical questions.

He explains, “Questions that require a candidate to describe how they performed in the past, also known as “behavioral interview questions” (e.g., “Tell me about a time when you led…”), are problematic in a fast-moving world where yesterday’s approaches quickly become irrelevant. And according to research by professors Frank Schmidt and John Hunter, those questions predict success only 12% better than a coin flip. Why? Because the way a candidate did years ago at another firm may be the wrong answer today at this firm with its unique culture. Historical questions also allow a good storyteller to passionately describe how a problem was solved even though they only played a minor role in the solution.”

Read the entire article here.