Joshua Waldman, Career Enlightenment | Jan 30, 2017
I’m learning how to hire. My business
is growing and I recently needed to hire
a new customer service rep. So, I got a
book on interviews and read some articles
Every HR expert seems to have their own
strongly-held-to opinion about the best
questions to ask, and what to look for in a
So I tried out three of these “must-ask”
questions that I read about for my series
of interviews. After the third interview,
I realized that the questions I was asking
weren’t as important as simply knowing
three important things about a candidate.
When going into a job interview, make it
your No. 1 goal to be sure your interviewer
knows these three things about you,
even if they don’t ask directly.
1. Can You Be Trained to Do the Job?
I am building a new process for handling
clients. My new customer service rep will
be part of developing that new process. So
I can’t just ask them, “Can you do this?”
I really need to know if they can learn my
way of doing things using my software.
The best answer I received was from my
second candidate who recounted a story
from her last job. There, she’d observed the
chaotic nature of her boss. After a few weeks
of chaos, she built a system to help keep
him, and the business, more organized.
I’d rather hire that experience than someone
who simply knows how to handle an angry customer (which is also important,
but can also be trained). I needed someone
trainable and flexible.
2. Do I Even Like You?
One of the must-ask questions I read
about was, “If you had a superpower, what
would it be? Why?”
I asked all of my candidates. Many of
them wanted to be invisible. Not a fan!
One laughed at my question (good sign!)
and then asked me the question back
(another good sign!).
I told her I would like the ability to fly.
She said, “That’s a good one. I think I
would teleport. I like to travel but don’t
like waiting for visas.”
This one conversation stood out to me
because it wasn’t a one-word answer.
There was some humor and character. She
showed personality and I like that.
If I were to hire her, I’d have to get along
with her. I’d also rely on her to give me
feedback I might not want to hear.
3. What Really Motivates You?
Anyone can BS a job interview. I
know. I’ve done it many times!
What happens six or 12 months later? Are
you still as peppy as you seemed that first
In my recent interviews, I distinctly looked
for candidates who could show me they
liked what they did and had every intention
of keeping up that energy for a long
time. Sure, I’m just offering them a job. They don’t have to live and die for it, but
some amount of interest would be nice!
One candidate’s passion for building
desktop computers alone was a red flag.
He spends his free time at a very individual
task. Even as an introvert myself, I
still like to be with people, be it friends or
Another candidate, on the other hand,
showed excitement when talking about
interesting conversations he’d struck
with random people during his vacation
I’d definitely go for the person excited
about random conversations for my customer
Answer These and Ace the Interview!
Keeping these three questions in mind
and trying to answer them during a job
interview is going to help you land meaningful
But, if you can answer these questions
BEFORE you sit down for an interview,
you’re one step ahead. Not only will you
land more interviews, but your interviewer
will be more at ease with you. The trick
is to make sure your LinkedIn profile and
other social networks also answer these
About the Author
Joshua Waldman, author of Job Searching
with Social Media for Dummies, is the
founder of Career Enlightenment, which
offers professional LinkedIn profile writing
services and career advice for the modern