Interviewing is an art. The answers to the right questions help reveal whether the applicant is a sincere, authentic person. So, I enjoyed reading about the interview questions Chris Barbin, the CEO of Appirio, likes to ask. He was the subject of the Corner Office Q&A feature in The New York Times. In the May 20 edition, “In One Adjective, Please Tell Me Who You Are,” Barbin says he likes to ask what an interviewee is most proud of.
He says he usually gets a stalling response, such as, “What do you mean -- in business?” Barbin says no and repeats the question.
I love this question: “What do you stink at?” Barbin says he usually gets a neutral response that reveals zip, such as, “Oh, I take on too much work, and I work too hard.” He asks again.
And he likes to press the applicant to think of his three best friends and the one word they all would use to describe him. If they can't use the same word, what's the one word each would include?
My mother taught me that people never change; they only reveal themselves. That’s true enough. But asking penetrating questions — the ones that are like a bunker-busting bomb — gets you closer to the truth sooner rather than later. And that makes a big difference in the practice of law.