How to Interview Someone for a Job

If you're interviewing someone for a job, or just considering working with someone new, how do you get them to tell the truth about their weaknesses?

I have three favorite ways to get people to answer the weakness question honestly. The first one is to ask, "What's a piece of constructive criticism that you've gotten recently?" And that way they can tell you not just what they're bad at, but also how they're working to improve.

A second option comes from a former student Caitlin Souther who likes to ask people "What's a positive quality that you don't possess?" And what's nice about that is it just reframes the weakness as not something so horrible. And then a third approach is to ask people, "How would others describe your weaknesses?" And that gives them a chance to show that they're not just self-aware but they're conscious of how other people perceive them and you might end up checking the references and you'll find out what those people say and so they might as well score points for knowing what other people would say about them.

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