Management

The must-ask questions for every potential employee interview

It may be blunt, but you need to ask people what they are good at, what they want, and their selfish reason for wanting to work with you

Question 2: What are you good at?

It’s a fairly blunt question, especially in the context of a job interview where you’re literally assessing if they would be good for your role and company.

But here’s the difference: this question is about them and about how they see themselves. It’s also very direct and thus difficult to misunderstand.

How to ask

If you’re uncomfortable asking the question so directly or feel you may alienate the candidate, explain the context a bit more. For example:

“Either in the context of this job or more high level in your life and experience, what are you good at? I don’t ask to make you defend yourself, I genuinely want to know something you know you are good at.”

However, the question must remain blunt as that will show you someone’s self-awareness and, to some extent, their self confidence. Asking the question this way all but requires the candidate to stand up for themself. You’ll quickly uncover if they are someone who gets defensive when they perceive they are being questioned. You may also learn something about them that you didn’t know before.

When to ask

Ask this question about half way through the interview or conversation. It’s usually brought up when there’s a conversation about the company as a whole or the more holistic view of the job. That way, you don’t ask it with the implication that they have to respond with job-specific skills.