Slideshow Six interview questions to ask to hire the best people

Published
  • June 18 2015, 11:12am EDT
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The importance of understanding what drives a person is paramount in determining whether or not they’d be a good cultural fit within a company. Thomas Koulopoulos, founder of the Delphi Group, says “the key in hiring the best people is to look for foundational traits that speak to their sense of purpose, what drives them to achieve, how they deal with failure and success, how they think, and why they do what they do.” Here are six questions that can help hiring managers gain a better understanding of candidates' intrinsic motivators.

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1. Are you driven by the determination to succeed or the fear of failure?

There is no correct answer, Koulopoulos says, but the question will shed some light on what really motivates someone. While motivation comes in many forms, it helps to note that the latter part of the questions is phrased to determine whether failure drives … not paralyzes … someone.

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2. Why are you successful?

According to Koulopoulos, successful people reflect on what they do and why. Their desire for success will always eclipse their fears, he adds.

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3. If today were your last day on Earth, what would you most regret not having accomplished?

Candidates who live with a focus on what is needed accomplish a goal tend to be creative and resourceful.

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4. How is who you are today consistent or inconsistent with the person you were at 12 years old?

Knowing your job candidate’s journey to who he or she is today provides a deeper understanding of the person as a whole. “Don't laugh this one off,” he says. “Stick with it, and dig deep. It can take a bit of time, but it's worth it.”

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5. Name someone who is alive today, whom I would know, and whom you consider to be exceptionally intelligent. How would you rank your intelligence against this person's?

Yes, this is technically a two-part question so wait for the first answer before asking the second. “This will tell you a great deal about how someone measures intelligence and values himself or herself,” he says.

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6. When are you happiest?

Everyone will gravitate toward what makes them happy. Koulopoulos says it may take a little work to get the correct answer, and recommends tying it back to specific examples. “What matters is that you get an answer that you feel is authentic, in keeping with the culture of your organization and which will be fueled by the work the person would be doing,” he says.

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