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5 Essential Interview Questions to Find your Next Star Employee

Hiring? Ask these questions to help narrow down the field.

Talent. Talent. Talent. It can make or break organizations – but it often becomes a challenge to find the best talent when every candidate looks the same on paper. Here are five questions to find your organization’s next rising star!

1. Where do you see yourself in one year?

Think long term — whether you are bringing on an early addition to your business or someone at a later stage you really want to understand where they see themselves in the future. When you begin to empower the individual pieces of your business to recognize where they want to be, then your organization will excel.

Make it your mission to identify someone whose long-term values align with ‌your leadership team to find that perfect match.

2. How do you interpret adding value?

One of the most important things to remember is that this person may potentially be joining your TEAM. If each moving part of the organization finds a way to help each other break down hurdles and challenges, then you are well on the road to crushing it.

I am sure you have heard the phrase “add value” before, and it’s become a cliche. I often like to hear about examples outside of the workplace.

That time they sat down with a homeless person on the street or that day last October when they picked their friend up from the car dealership after they dropped their car off. All of these point to important values that correlate to success in the workplace.

3. What is your weakness and what are three things you have done this year to overcome this?

It’s the question that often comes up during an interview and typically follows a question about the candidate’s strengths. Push the candidate to dig deep and be honest — to admit their struggles — find someone who has fallen in love with the process.

4. What do you see in our company that makes it special?

Find that spark — and be sure to understand their appreciation for both the business model and the culture of the company. We live in a world where there are many companies taking on similar problems – but all of them have a set of unique cultural values ingrained in their organization.

5. Give me an example of a time when you could truly say “you loved what you did.”

If someone asked me this right now — I would have trouble coming up with it on the spot. Be patient as they come up with an answer – and when you think they’re done pause for a brief moment cause you never know what they might say next.


Written by Sam Sawchuk

Sam Sawchuk is a passionate social entrepreneur who believes empathy can be our strongest tool in unlocking innovation in business and in life. Sam works with people, companies, and brands to develop strategic initiatives that empower disenfranchised segments of the population and inspire social change. He does this through speaking and coaching, as well as leading his own organizations, Sandwich for a Story and Brandschools. Sam’s work has been featured at TEDx, the Clinton Global Initiative University, the United Nations, as well as numerous other media outlets. He has held various roles in startup communities across North America including Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver and San Francisco with a focus on getting students involved in entrepreneurship. A passionate believer in the power of technology to connect and inspire, Sam has worked at a variety of innovative companies in the technology industry including Uber, Hired and Ayogo Health.

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