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Uncovering the Real Candidate: Why This Interview Question is a Game Changer

What's the best interview question you ask job candidates?

And by best, I mean what question elicits the best insights into what the person will be like to work with?

Many candidates prep for interviews with career coaches, mock interviews, or just a thorough Google or AI search for likely questions. Given this, many candidates look and sound great when they meet you.

👉 if you’re only evaluating them on how they show up the day of the interview, you're not seeing the reality of how you’re going to work together.

With this in mind, I gathered a gem from the fabulous Alisa Cohn’s* newsletter last week. She shared an idea from Chip Conley, Co-founder and CEO of MEA. His idea of the perfect interview question?

𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩'𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚 #1 𝙬𝙖𝙮 𝙮𝙤𝙪'𝙧𝙚 𝙢𝙞𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙘𝙚𝙞𝙫𝙚𝙙 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙤𝙧𝙠𝙥𝙡𝙖𝙘𝙚?

I love this question!! 💜

This question is great for 3 reasons:

🎯 It’s uncommon. They likely haven't prepared for it which increases the likelihood of a genuine unscripted answer.

🎯 It requires both self-awareness and an awareness of how others perceive you. Both are critically important characteristics of effective leaders.

🎯 And as Chip says, “It provides a welcome mat for an interesting conversation”. It encourages follow-up questions like, how does this show up? How do you feel about this perception? If you’re unhappy about it, what are you doing to change it?

The question may require a pause, so I would add a precursor to Chip’s recommendation to encourage a meaningful response. For example:

👉 𝙄'𝙢 𝙜𝙤𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙤 𝙖𝙨𝙠 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙖 𝙦𝙪𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙢𝙖𝙮 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝𝙩 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙗𝙚𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙚. 𝙋𝙡𝙚𝙖𝙨𝙚 𝙩𝙖𝙠𝙚 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙧𝙚𝙛𝙡𝙚𝙘𝙩 𝙤𝙣 𝙞𝙩. 𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩'𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚 #1 𝙬𝙖𝙮 𝙮𝙤𝙪'𝙧𝙚 𝙢𝙞𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙘𝙚𝙞𝙫𝙚𝙙 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙤𝙧𝙠𝙥𝙡𝙖𝙘𝙚?👈

What do you think of this question? What great interview questions do you ask?

*Thank you Alisa for writing newsletters that are always insightful!

Share your thoughts.


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