Why This CEO Asks Only One Interview Question

Interviewers usually ask a bunch of questions to determine whether the job candidate is a great fit. But Dan Finnigan, CEO of recruiting platform Jobvite, manages to accomplish that with just one query.

That’s right, Finnigan has only one prompt ready when candidates sit down for an interview. He says: “Walk me through your professional career from the very beginning until now.”

Though it’s broad and open-ended, Finnigan says the response tells him all he needs to know about a candidate because it allows them to speak freely and honestly about their past experiences and future goals. “It’s all in the context of reality,” he tells Business Insider. “I can tell with this method if someone is going to be motivated and want to do the job.”

Finnigan will sometimes pose follow-up questions such as, “Why did you take this job?” or, “What was your biggest challenge?” — but for the most part, he tries to let candidates do all the talking. “When people are telling their story, it’s a more organic, honest, free-flowing description and explanation of themselves,” he explains. “They’re not overly inside their heads thinking about it.”

Asking a candidate to describe their work history reveals to Finnigan what tasks they both like and dislike, what kinds of projects they gravitate toward, and what encourages them to work hard. There are no surprises after someone is hired because they couldn’t hide their true feelings behind canned answers for stock questions, he says. This method brings out each person’s genuine personality.

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.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.