Oh, the things you can learn by asking one good question.
We all have our list of questions to qualify a person for the role we are hiring. Additionally, those to determine a values fit. Great, keep asking those. All with the desire to learn as much as possible when taking the journey to find our next hire.
After interviewing people for the last 20+ years, I still have not found a question better than this one. I’ll explain. It is now part of my regular interview line-up and I want to share it with you.
90% of people will respond with a deep breath and a, “That’s a good question.” or “Wow, I have never been asked that one before.” Then, one of 3 things happens:
1. They get uncomfortable and say, "I don’t know.” If confidence and decision-making is critical to the role you are hiring, would this be an acceptable answer? Would they be a fit for open communication? Do they know or care how others perceive them? You get a chance to see (watch the body language) and hear how they respond to a potentially awkward and direct question.
2. They pause, maybe ask a clarifying question and then answer. Hooray, they gave an answer! It’s always fascinating to hear if they respond with something positive or negative. Was the answer clear? Did it feel authentic? You will learn a lot here often leading to some deeper conversation and insights.
3. They respond with more than you ever wanted to know. This is where the crazy comes out. And, the truth. This is why I love this question so much. They reveal to you others perceptions of who they are. Then tell you, “It’s just not true.” Oh yes, run! It's true.
Are you ready for the question? My favorite interview question is: If we were in a social gathering, what would be one thing someone would say about you to your face and one thing they would say behind your back?
Try it and let me know how it works for you. If we could save even one misfit from coming into our culture, we win. We are the guardians of our culture. Will you share your favorite interview question here? #InterviewQuestion #HireForFit