Encourage Interviewees To Say 'I Don't Know' For Richer Answers

Conventional wisdom says that displaying a lack of knowledge about something in an interview will go against you. However, new research suggests that encouraging interviewees to express uncertainty leads to more fruitful answers.

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A test conducted with 78 undergraduate students showed that participants who were encouraged to say "I don't know" and elaborate on their doubt gave richer answers and more meaningful data than those who were told not to say that, or not given any instructions at all.

Weblog More Happy Me explains:

The results of the study indicated that the participants who were encouraged to answer "I don't know" gave fewer incorrect answers and just as many correct answers as the other participants.

The research also found that people tend not to say "I don't know" unless they are specifically encouraged to do so.

We have told you a few mistakes to avoid while conducting interviews, but this might be something you should consider adding in your recruitment process.

Encouraging interviewees to say "I don't know" improves performance. [More Happy Me]


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