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Separating the Wheat from the Chaff 284 Team Builder Elicit from applicants information about what they have done in previous jobs (or other areas of their lives) that they're particularly proud of. Past successes are good indicators of future achievements. 2. 3. Make nondirective comments.Ask open-ended questions, such as, "Tell me about your com- puter background." An applicant will tell you whatever he or she feels is an appropriate re- sponse. Rather than comment on the answer, respond with, "Uh-huh" or "Yes," or just nod. This technique encourages applicants to continue talking without your giving any hints about what you're seeking to learn. This approach often results in obtaining information about prob- lems, personality factors, attitudes, or weaknesses that might not have been uncovered by direct questions. Conversely, it can also bring out additional positive factors and strengths. Ask probing questions.Sometimes applicants can be vague or evasive in answering ques- tions. Probe for more detail, as in this example: Interviewer: For what type of purchases did you have authority to make final decisions? Applicant: Well, I know a great deal about valves. Interviewer: Did you buy the valves?