Two Interview Questions that Help you Hire the Right People

Leaders tell me, “I can’t find good people.”

What if the talent war is the wrong war? Maybe you’re looking in the wrong place and asking the wrong questions.

Success is more about grit than talent.

Dumb people succeed and smart people under-perform. Your performance in school has almost nothing to do with your performance at work.

Hire for character:

“Character is, in the long run, the decisive factor in the life of individuals and of nations alike.” Theodore Roosevelt

“… one characteristic emerged as a significant predictor of success. It wasn’t social intelligence. It wasn’t good looks, physical health, and it wasn’t IQ. It was grit.” Angela Duckworth

Hire based more on grit than on talent.

Duckworth continues, “… in our data, grit is usually unrelated or even inversely related to measures of talent.”

Talent and grit are usually inversely related? Really?

If Duckworth is right, highly talented people tend to give up sooner than people with less talent. Will Smith agrees when he preaches the value of hard work over talent.

“… where I excel is ridiculous sickening work ethic… while the other guy’s sleeping, I’m working.”

Should you hire dingbats who have grit? Probably not. Thomas NG and Daniel Feldman’s research suggest that education matters.

How to hire for character:

Helen Keller said, “Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

Interview question #1.: Tell me about a time when you struggled through adversity. What changed about you?

Interview question #2: Tell me about a time when you worked long and hard to develop a skill. What did you learn about yourself?

Require applicants to take two free assessments:

VIA Character Strengths Survey

Grit Scale (Angel Duckworth)

What interview questions might you suggest?