Do you use curveball questions to help identify the most creative job prospects like “How would you sell hot cocoa in Florida?” Fortunately for job seekers, studies have found that these questions really are as silly as they sound. In fact, big companies like Google have been phasing them out in recent years.
When interviewing job candidates you should ask questions that can reveal a prospect’s true values and demeanor. Here are four to ask at your next job interview.
1. Tell me about a time you screwed up.
This is an oldie but a goodie! It’s a great test for self-awareness. A person that takes ownership for a mistake, typically learns from it and is usually humbled. Candidates who place the blame elsewhere should raise a red flag.
A good answer:
A good answer should cover two bases – taking responsibility for the mistake and admitting they miscalculated is a sign of integrity and self-awareness.
2. Tell me about previous relationships you had with colleagues. Describe the best and the worst.
Every team’s dynamic is different. This question can help you determine if a candidate will fit in with your existing team.
A good answer: Answers shouldn’t focus solely on professional elements of a relationship with colleagues. Listen for answers that explain how the candidates work style meshed or conflicted with team members.
3. Tell me about a difficult goal you had to set and how you met the challenge.
If you’re seeking a results-oriented person, ask this. It can help you to gauge if your prospect can handle the goals you’ve set for them. Ask about their process.
A good answer: Will show that they understand goal setting and they can maintain a high-level of work when under deadline pressure.
4. In your opinion, what is your most significant career accomplishment to date?
The author of Hire With Your Head, Lou Adler, deemed this the best interview question for revealing whether or not to hire a candidate.
A good answer: How a prospect answers this one will tell you a lot about their prior successes and sense of ownership. A great answer shows that they are confident in their professional choices, while humbly showing they care about their company’s success.
Asking well chosen questions can help you to narrow the field when it comes to choosing the right hire. Take a creative approach and listen between the lines to their answers.