The other day I debated hiring with a friend of mine. Hiring is notoriously hard — as a hiring manager you are expected to decide on a person with extremely limited and heavily skewed data. And the same is, of course, true for the person being hired — though the information asymmetry is a little less harsh, as it is easier to get information about a company (especially if it is a slightly larger one) than about an individual.
We talked about the set of questions one can (and possibly should) ask to glean as much useful information about the other party in the process. In our conversation she mentioned a question which stood out to me — not only for job interviews:
”Looking at everything you have done so far — what was the most interesting? What did you enjoy most? And what was the hardest for you?”
It is a wonderful question as it allows you to cut through the noise and go deep (and if you get platitudes for an answer — well, I guess that also tells you something).
But it is also a fantastic question to ponder for yourself — as it tells you a lot about yourself. Combine this question with the five whys, and you’ll unearth a bunch about your motivations, as well as your strengths and weaknesses.