It is hard to get a good read on a candidate’s degree of self-awareness and to get them to share their honest take on their weaknesses. It took me years to figure out how to get professionals to open up on this topic in a way that didn’t generate canned answers. These are the three questions that finally did the trick (at least most of the time).
1) Did “ACME” (insert most recent employer name) do performance reviews?
That’s great. Not enough employers do them anymore and they are so important to helping staff realize their potential. What did your most recent performance review say were your greatest areas for growth?
That’s too bad. It is hard to grow when you don’t have good coaching on how to develop. If you had done a review, what do you guess would be the 2-3 areas of investment your manager would have called out as important for your growth?
2) Let’s assume we both decide to move forward and you have been on the job for three months. After 90 days one or both of us decide it isn’t going to work. What is the most likely reason this happened?
3) You don’t need to tell me the name, but think of one person you worked with in the last year that always gave you energy. Tell me about them and what is about them that worked so well for you? (answer) Now, on the flip side, who was someone you respected and was good at their job but that you found draining and tried to avoid at work. What was it about them that didn’t work for you?
Try these out in your next set of interviews and let me know how they work for you. Did they get candid responses? Did you walk away with a sense for their level of self-awareness?
Have any better questions you use?
By: Aaron Hurst