The Most Important Interview Question You Should Ask

When a candidate walks in your conference room for an interview there is only one interview question that matters. A recent study showed that 90 percent of hiring managers think they are good interviewers, yet they rarely reach unanimous hiring decisions with other 90 percenters in the same room interviewing the same candidate. Lou Adler, CEO of The Adler Group went on a 10 year quest to find the one question that would produce universal agreement from hiring managers.

Here it is:

What single project or task would you consider your most significant accomplishment in your career to date?

Adler goes on to give a number of follow-up questions to draw out the positives and negatives of the candidate.  These follow-up questions give insight into the the candidates work ethic, performance in working with a team, ability to handle deadlines, performance-driven and the like.  Here are a few of the follow-up questions:

  • Why were you chosen?
  • Explain your manager's style and whether you liked it?
  • What aspects of the project did you truely enjoy?
  • Give examples of how you managed and influenced others?
  • What were some of the biggest mistakes you made?
  • When did the project take place and long did the project take?

This line of questioning can tell the interviewer everything they need to know about a candidate and when used consistently, will prove to be the only line of questioning that matters.

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March 27, 2014
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