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Interviewing Techniques

Hi everybody, this is Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from folks just like you. Here’s this week’s question:

How do you interview for an intellectually curious mind? Professional and personal growth generally requires a thirst for knowledge, and if you aren’t growing, you’re dying. How do you weed out those who are quick to fall into complacency and single out those who will do anything to be better?

There’s a lot of questions here! So here’s the thing. Your interview techniques are what matters the most. And you should always ask people to tell you a story.

So I would ask questions like this:

  • Tell me what you’re most curious about in the world.
  • Tell me a story about something that you learned one time that you thought was really interesting.
  • Tell me about one thing that currently confuses you in your life that you would like to learn more about.
  • Tell me about one area of your life where you used to be dissatisfied but now you’re satisfied.

Any question that asks then to talk about things that they’ve learned about without saying “What have you learned?”. Don’t ask questions about school, most people hated it. Just ask them to tell you stories.

I was asked a question the other day, somebody said: “Hey Mike, tell me something that you don’t know that you wish you did know.” And I told him. And I thought wow, I should probably know that a little bit better!

So that’s how you do that. Now, I’m just telling you, everybody has their limitations. One of your questions was “How do I single those out who will do anything to be better?” There’s nobody who will do anything to be better, that I know of, and if there is, that should be a warning sign for you anyway.

So ask questions that get them to tell you stories, that’ll help you understand if they’re intellectually (and physically, emotionally, psychologically) curious.

I hope that’s helpful! I’m Mike Staver. If you’d like to send me a question, send me a question using the form below.

Do you have a burning question for Mike to answer on another episode of Mondays with Mike? Submit the form below!


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