As it turns out, interview questions like, “What’s your biggest strength?” and, “What’s you biggest weakness?” may not be as telling as they seem.
The New York Times’ Adam Bryant recently interviewed Michelle Peluso, CEO of Gilt Groupe, about leadership, management, and hiring.
Peluso told Bryant that she despises the interview question: “What are you not good at?”
“Everyone has a rehearsed answer,” she says.
Instead, she tells each candidate: “OK, I’ve interviewed an eclectic crowd about you: the guy who delivers your food, the last people you worked with, the person who can’t stand you the most, your best friend from high school, your mother’s neighbour, your kindergarten teacher, your high school maths teacher who loved you, and last boss.” Then, she asks: “If I were to say to them, ‘Give me three adjectives that best describe you,’ what would I hear?”
Peluso says if the candidate gives her three glowing adjectives, she’ll remind them that the hypothetical group includes a few people that aren’t particularly fond of them.
“It’s a tough question, and nobody wants to answer it, really,” she says. “But I do want to know, ‘What is top of mind for you?'”
Read the full interview here.
Want your business advice featured in Instant MBA? Submit your tips to [email protected] Be sure to include your name, your job title, and a photo of yourself in your email.
Disclosure: Kevin Ryan and Dwight Merriman, the founders of Gilt Groupe, are investors in Business Insider.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.