42 questions to help you find a good people – The Job At School Rule

Updated on October 21, 2018 in Work
0 on October 21, 2018

Having deep open and real conversations is the best way to find good people to join your organisation.

You will not find good people using profiling or by delegating recruitment to other people.

People join leaders and people leave leaders and if you cannot recruit you will struggle to lead.

Frank conversations are where trust starts and if someone trusts you they will tell you stuff and you will tell them stuff and from this exchange both the interviewer and the interviewee get what they want which is information and feelings.

Feelings like safety respect excitement and positive expectation sometimes even confidence is a by-product of a great conversation. Remember that confidence is not a character trait. It flows on from things like newly acquired knowledge or acknowledgement from a boss or sometimes from something as simple as a smile.

CVS are works of fiction and they are the flawed partner of the formal job interview which has always seemed to me like some anachronistic holdover from the 1950s. If things have a colour the formal job interview is certainly black and white.

Here we are today with technology we could not even have imagined possible a few decades ago and we are all still using a method of recruitment that was unreliable and fear -filled from the get-go.

CVS and formal interviews yield none of what we want them to yield.

They should tell us if….

The person sitting across the desk from us will fit in here?

They should help us to find out if they are a good person?

The interview should assist us to see and feel their values, and to find out if their values match ours.

We should be having conversations with people to see if the applicant can help us solve our problems?

Our focus should be on ascertaining if our organisation will be better (or worse) if they join us?

And we often make it even worse by talking too much about ourselves because the doors are closed, and we like to talk about us.

We turn it into a brag-fest.

Why not focus instead on finding out more useful information about people before you give them a job and before they start creating havoc inside your organisation and inside your head. Asking broad open interesting questions is the only way to do this. Questions like ‘what am I not going to like about you in 3 months’ time?’ or ‘what did your mum teach you?’

And remember always hire slowly and involve other team members in the hiring process including receptionists and lots of woman.

Do walking interviews and get out of your sterile scary offices and boardrooms. Go into cafes and eat with prospective employees and their partners. Walk along beaches or through parks and sit on benches and just chat to people and be patient and don’t be afraid of silence.

People will always fill up the silent spaces if there is a connection and if they feel SAFE.

If it feels good in your gut after lots of conversations follow your tummy compass and ask the people you like to come and do ADULT WORK EXPERIENCE in your organisation.

Its good enough for kids in high school so why not use it in your organisation. Always pay them for their work. 

Here’s the thing.

Conversations build trust and trust is the oil that lubricates all relationships.

Good conversations foster the sharing of important information between people and once we swap real information with others they provide us with valuable information and before we know it we have moved into the space we need to be in so both the interviewer and the interviewee can honestly assess each other and the organisation and then make the best decisions.

The following 42 questions have been created and collected by me over the many years I have been having interesting conversations with prospective employees.

People get it and they relax quickly if you ask good questions, and they helped me, and I helped them work out whether we should work together. Recruitment is like speed dating, and the attached questions have helped me connect quicker and converse better.

A couple of final points.

We all look for a magic bullet question when it comes to recruitment. A short cut.

A single question that will allow us to rapidly and accurately assess another human being.

The question that comes closest for me is ‘Did you have a job at school?

I have found that young people who go out early in their lives and earn money seem to understand that work is a verb, a doing word, and they also learn early the value of their time in hourly units because that is how they are paid. They are always good people and great team members.


Do not practice Wilful Blindness when you recruit.

Wilful Blindness is giving a job to someone because you have an empty desk and they have a pulse.

It can be fatal.


1. What did your Mum teach you?

2. What ties do you have in the local community?

3. Are you lucky?

4.What do you want to talk about?

5. What values will you bring to our business?

6. If you could do anything and money was not an issue what would you do?

7. What is the biggest opportunity in your life that you missed and did not take?

8. What would you like to ask me?

9. What are you good at outside work?

10. What am I not going to like about you in 3 months?

11. Why are you here today?

12. What is your biggest dream in life?

13. What is your favourite movie or book or TV series?

14. Tell me when and where you failed?

15. What is your biggest passion?

16. What don’t you want to be doing in 5 years?

17. What would you say is the biggest misconception people have about you?

18. What goes through your head when someone says no to you?

19. What will your last few bosses say about you and your performance?

20. Are there any reasons I should not hire you?

21. What is your work ethic?

22. If we give you this opportunity will you take it?

23. Where else are you looking?

24. How do you learn best?

25. Where do you see the real estate industry in 5 years?

26. What do you know about our company?

27. Is there anyone in our team that you would like to meet?

28. Please finish the sentence…the harder you work…

29. How do you improve?

30. After conferences/training what do you do with the information?

31. Do you arrive an hour before a flight or walk onto the plane as it closes the doors?

32. Do you volunteer?

33. Are you trustworthy?

34. What did you learn from your first boss or company?

35. What’s the number one thing you worry about?

36. Tell me about a time you had difficulty working with someone?

37. What did you do to fix it?

38. When you leave this interview what are you going to be thinking about?

39. Do you like working in teams?

40. How do you solve problems?

41. How do you make decisions, have you got a process?

42. Did you have a job at school?

 Source: Mr Chris Hanley
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