’s 3 Interview Questions That Reveal Everything really DOES live up to its applicant-vetting promise. For each job listed on a  job candidate’s resume, simply ask these three questions:

  1. How did you find out about the job?
  2. What did you like about the job before you started?
  3. Why did you leave?
“Move quickly, and don’t ask for detail,” suggests author Jeff Haden. “And don’t ask follow-up questions, at least not yet.” But be prepared to be amazed.

How did you find out about the job?

Most people find their first few jobs via job boards, general postings, online listings, job fairs, etc., “so that’s certainly not a red flag,” continues Haden. But if a candidate hasn’t been recruited by a prior boss or colleague by Job Three, Four, or Five, that likely indicates that the person was unable to build the type of trusting relationships you likely want for your organization.

“On the flip side,” says Haden, “being pulled in is like a great reference – without the letter.”

What did you like about the job before you started?

If you repeatedly hear phrases like “great opportunity,” “chance to learn about the industry,” or “next step in my career,” that’s another red flag.

Why did you leave?

People leave jobs for a variety of interesting reasons, some good, many less so. But “resist the temptation” to ask for more detail. Just ask the question and and let your candidates say what they will.

“In the process, many candidates will describe issues with management or disagreements with other employees or with taking responsibility – issues they otherwise would not have shared.”

When vetting applicants for leadership positions, there’s one additional question to ask:

How many people have you hired, and where did you find them?

It’s one thing when a leader can assume responsibility for a team that was already in place. But when employees, gainfully employed elsewhere, are willing to change jobs just so they can work with a particular boss,  well, that says something else entirely about that leader.

Simple. Powerful. Effective. Dont’ you agree?!

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Special thanks to coaching colleague Donna Karlin who shared the article in a LinkedIn update.

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