(Article by hrmorning.com)


Ever wish you had a list of sure-fire questions you were confident would identify the best job candidates?


Well, serial entrepreneur Mitchell Harper, who’s hired a lot of people to run his five businesses, thinks he’s come up with one.

He put it together after reviewing his experiences with applicants — especially A players, the candidates all companies crave.  “I thought about the commonalities between them … and I also thought about my actual interviews with them ?— ?even the interviews back in the early 2000s,” Harper wrote. “When I asked myself,  ‘What do they all have in common that would form the foundation of an A-player?’, I came up with a series of personality traits and past experiences.”

And from that exercise came a list of interview questions. Some highlights:

  1. Have you been promoted in a previous role? 
    A-players rise through the ranks quickly. Harper says, “(Being promoted) once is great, twice is amazing and three times is out of this world.”
    If a candidate’s never moved up in the ranks, chances are he or she’s not in that stratosphere.
  2. Have you led a big project? 
    This will show you if a previous manager had enough confidence in the person to lead others.
  3. Is this the same role as your last job? 
    Harper believes A-players don’t change companies, they change roles – because they like challenges and being put in new situations.
  4. Are you committed to continual learning? 
    Having a commitment to adding new skills is critical. Ask what candidates plan to learn with you and how they plan to learn it.
  5. What do you like about us? What would you change? 
    A-players do their homework. So they should be able to provide constructive feedback on what they like about your business, as well as what they aren’t so sure of.
  6. What would you like to know about us? 
    This shouldn’t be a one-sided affair, but rather a conversation. The questions candidates ask are often way more informative than the answers they provide to the tired old queries like “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
  7. There’s one more question interviewers need to ask themselves: Is the candidate confident without being cocky?
    There’s a fine line to walk here, Harper says. Ideally, the candidate is candid and concise about his or her accomplishments, but also acknowledges the assistance of co-workers and mentors.