Job interviews can be time consuming fact-finding missions that don’t always yield the best results. Sometimes you find out six months later that you didn’t hire the person you thought you did. To avoid that worst case scenario, work these five interview questions in during the hiring process to ensure you’re hiring the right person for the job.
How often have you failed?
True achievers fail. And often. Someone who is confident and used to striving for high goals will consistently fail, and they will have no problem telling you that. Someone who is complacent is unlikely to have pushed themselves out of their comfort zone enough to fail — or be comfortable enough to admit it.
If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
The answer to this interview question will tell you a lot about the person sitting across from you. Is their dream job a CEO of a major organization? Maybe they have aspirations of power. Is it to be an entrepreneur? Perhaps independence is a key motivator for this individual.
If you had to pick one single reason not to hire yourself, what would it be?
This is a tricky interview question that will get the wheels turning. You’re asking the candidate to pick out the least desirable aspect of themselves or their experience. You’ll avoid getting a rehearsed answer to the dreaded ‘biggest weakness’ question because it forces the candidate to pick something genuine — ‘I’m a perfectionist’ simply doesn’t work with this framing.
What is most important to you in this world?
Although closed-ended, the answer will tell you a lot about the person sitting in front of you. You’ll begin to understand what is the driving force behind this person, and in turn how you can empower and motivate them in the workplace.
Are you usually the most intelligent person in the room or the least intelligent?
Top entrepreneurs will often tell you that the key to their success is how they have constantly surrounded themselves with much more intelligent people. Those who already see themselves as the smartest in the room may not be able to admit their faults, or have no interest in learning from people who may be more clever.
BONUS: Where else are you interviewing?
Know your competition and where you stand with the candidate so that it’s not a shock when they turn down your offer for another role. If the candidate is confident in their abilities, they’ll be honest and tell you.