One interview question

I have prepared and done many interviews in the past 10 years. There’s one question I always include no matter the position.

When I am looking to hire someone, one of the things that are important to me is whether they can be passionate about their work.

It is important for me to know that. Being passionate about your work means you care about the end result. It means you will do your best to achieve a great outcome. That’s not to criticize people that do not demonstrate their passion.

During the interview, one may demonstrate their passion through their answers. It’s not always obvious though. Maybe the way they express themselves does not reveal that. Maybe they are having a bad day.

That’s why I always include one interview question that gives them one more opportunity to talk about it.

Tell me about a project or a situation you handled since you started your professional career that you are very proud of? It doesn’t even need to be related to the job you are applying for. Please take your time.

Almost everyone I have asked that question, paused for a while. Sometimes it’s not easy to pick one. In other cases, people haven’t felt proud about their work. I want to hear both stories.

There are few things more refreshing than listening to someone talk passionately about one of their accomplishments.

It also makes them feel great. People feel good when they are given a chance to talk about themselves and their accomplishments. It shows them you care about what they did, even if it’s unrelated to the job position they are applying for.

Next time you are designing an interview, try asking that question and see how it goes.

Main points

  • Give people the chance to talk about their past accomplishments.
  • Ask them what they are proud for.

HeavyMelon is building Supportress. A simple and fast customer support tool at an unbeatable price. It helps you stay calm and productive. Subscribe to this blog, subscribe to our monthly HeavyMelon Newsletter, or ask us to add you to the private beta.

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Petros Amiridis View All →

Petros is a software writer since 1998, when he graduated from CITY College with a degree in Computer Science. He took a small break to work at GitHub Support for 9 years as a support engineer and a people manager. He quit GitHub to found HeavyMelon, a calm fully remote company. You can check what he is doing and where you can find him online now.

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