Thursday, March 05, 2015

Great Interview Question

In this week's New York Times Corner Office column, Lew Cirne - CEO of New Relic (a software analytics firm) - describes his favorite interview question.

One question I ask more often than others is, “Describe a day where you’ve just had the greatest working day of your life. You’re driving home and you’re on cloud nine. What was it about that working day that made you so happy?” If you’re doing what you love to do and it gives you that tingle down your spine, you’re going to execute at a high level.

I like the question for two major reasons. First, it helps the interviewer understand what drives that particular applicant, what motivates them.  You are trying to understand the sources of intrinsic motivation for that person.  Second, it helps you evaluate whether the job roles and responsibilities fit with what this person gets excited doing.  Perhaps they are a great candidate, but they won't be able to do what they love in this particular role.   This question helps you identify whether that fit exists or not. 

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