Hiring great people sucks...
There's no perfect formula for finding AMAZING humans. Whether you're hiring for your company, department, lemonade stand or whatever this is difficult!
Great interview questions can help you get to the crux of who a person is. Especially if the questions are leet, great and amazing interview questions. Ultimately making this crappy person hunt process more manageable.
Over the years I've kept a collection of questions like these as I've found them.
Some of these I found in books, podcasts or just cruising the inter-webs. Not all are applicable to all jobs BUT they're a great start for figuring out if someone will be a fit.
Below are the questions. I'm including the question, the right answer, what you're looking for and why you'd be asking. I'll also dropping a citation so you can check out the source material. I'd highly suggest checking out all the books and blog posts I'm citing. :)
Question: Do you consider yourself lucky?
What I really want to know: Do they seek and go after opportunity?
Right answer: yes
Why: Luck isn't a real thing, but people who consider themselves lucky are typically the types who know enough to seek out and go after opportunities. Everyone has the opportunity. We don't want to work with people who will pass them by.
Citation: Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
Question: What motivates you to work hard?
What I really want to know: Are they motivated by something other than money.
Right answer: my kids, helping people, making others happy.
Why: It's hard to get up every day and go to work. Doing that takes grit. Especially in a labor intensive job. They need to be motivated by something other than money. In addition, people who are mainly motivated by money are the types who are going to leave the first chance they get to make an extra buck. If that's the case, they're probably not going to stick around very long.
Citation: I heard this one a few times. I tried looking for the original citations but couldn't find one. :/
Question: What has been your greatest disappointment?
What I really want to know: are they a naturally optimistic person.
Right answer: I don't think in terms of disappointment. If something goes wrong I just look at what I could have done better and move on or look for the opportunity. Essentially, you're looking for them to not just talk about the disappointment but how they resolved it, what lessons they learned from it and how they moved on.
Why: You want to work with people in a growth mindset. Always moving forward and always growing. It's a sign of grit. Grist in my opinion one of the biggest drivers of success if life.
Question: What's your favorite project you've worked on personally or at work?
What I really want to know: There is no right or wrong answer to this questions which is part of why I love it so much. What we’re looking for is exactly as the question states. We want to know what they're passionate about. There’s no secret formula here.
Why: This question applies to many different fields. Everything from design, computer programming, to human resources.
After asking this, it will be evident in the candidate's tone of voice and body language if they’re genuinely passionate about a subject.
The perfect candidate going for the programmer position will talk about how they program computer games on the weekends. The graphic design will speak about the children's book they're creating. The Human resources executive will talk about the time they spend playing therapist to friends.
When a candidate can show their passion for a subject, it becomes ten times easier to put them in a position to pursue that passion. Any individual working in an area they’re passionate about will work harder and bring better insights to problems because they care.
That's not something anyone can buy but is something hiring managers and recruiters can start keeping an eye out for with future candidates.
Citation: Great post from Nicolas Bize's blog
Asking some great questions can help you get to the crux of who a person is but it's up to your to make the final decision. There's no perfect method but this is a start!
In the end, trust your gut to make the right decision.
Also, if you know any great questions I might have missed. I'd love to hear them! Email your great interview questions to [email protected].