A New Approach to Hire the Smart People

Stop asking stupid questions if you hope to hire the right people.

Leadership quote: Stop asking stupid questions if you hope to hire smart people. Image of a smart dog.

Job interview questions that DON’T work:

#1. Questions that begin, “Tell me about a time…”

The past doesn’t predict the future as much as it used to. There was a time when the past was like the present, but not today. What worked in the past worked in the past.

#2. Anticipated questions.

Make a list of 25 common interview questions. Don’t ask any of them. Good candidates are prepared to answer common questions.

Ask common questions to expose liars. For example, “Tell us about your weaknesses.” Anyone who responds, “I work too hard,” is a liar. People who work too hard don’t think it’s a weakness.

Questions have direction. Questions that work have the right destination. Image of handmade direction signs.

Job interview questions to hire smart people:

#1. Ask questions that reflect current situations.

Solve nagging issues within your organization by asking candidates how to solve them.

  1. What’s the best way to handle flexible scheduling?
  2. How would you create creative dissent on a team of bobble heads?
  3. How soon would you intervene when you notice interpersonal conflict on the team?
  4. Tell us three ways you’ll make work fun during your first week on the job.

#2. Ask questions that reflect your leadership philosophies.

  1. List the names of five direct reports. Tell us the top three strengths of each. How do you work to maximize their strengths? (Strength-based leadership)
  2. What’s your personal development plan for the next three months? (Growth and development)
  3. What’s your 90-day plan for leading your team here? How will you involve the team in making a 90-day plan that meets this organization’s needs? (Collaborative leadership)

#3. Talk while you’re moving.

Movement lowers barriers.

  1. Go for a walk.
  2. Go to the grocery store to pick up a jar of pickles.
  3. Play golf, especially if they don’t play.

What questions help leaders hire the right people?

What questions might result in a bad hire?

Still curious:

A Job Interview Question that Predicts How Someone Will Lead

The Best Leaders Ask Questions That Work

100 Interview Questions (monster.com)