I’ve learned a lot from hiring in my business this year - from contractors to team members, all of it! It all starts with the job application! So in this episode, I’m sharing 4 of the questions that have been most important to me when hiring. These are the ones that I found myself caring the most about the answers for when reviewing applicants. And, they totally might not be what you think. These aren’t the whole “What’s your greatest weakness?” type of job application questions. These are totally more off the wall than that!
Whether you’re hiring your first team member or 10th, doesn’t matter… these questions will help you with assessing if someone is right for the job or not. And, if you’re still a 100% solopreneur and not thinking about a team yet, I’d still encourage you to tune in here because thinking about this stuff will help you prepare for when that time for you does come.
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I asked these job application questions as part of the literal application so they were submitted in written form. I think you could also ask these in an interview too. For most of my hiring that isn’t “specialized work”, I care more about the person and if we’ll mesh well. I care more about if they have integrity and drive, than if they know how to use the software I use for project management, for example.
I think sometimes we focus on the wrong things and forget that the skills of software and technology are teachable. Soft skills and someone meshing well with a team that already exists, on the other hand, is not typically teachable.
2 of the 4 questions to get to know your job applicants
So let’s get to the job application questions. I’m sharing 2 of them here as well as why they are helpful. Make sure to listen to this short 20-minute episode to hear the other 2 questions!
1. The last book you read that had an impact on you & WHY
If you know me, you know I love reading and that’s probably why I love this in my job application questions so much. I was never looking for someone to have read books I love or something super impressive or anything.
By asking this, I was looking at a few things in their answers:
- time management skills
- ability to read a question and understand it enough to answer well
When I was hiring my right-hand person, I asked this question. So many people answered that they didn’t have time to read then listed out their excuses for why, and that was their answer.
That was an immediate no for me.
The question says the last book that “had an impact on you”. If you don’t read now, you can 100% answer with your favorite book ever that you read 5 years ago and tell why it impacted you. So in a way, it felt like an attention to detail thing.
Anyone who came up with an excuse as their answer showed that they might be someone who likes to look for excuses, which is not my type of team member.
But when people did answer it the way it’s asked, I got to see pieces of what they loved and cared about. What we read says a lot about what we like, so I think it’s an interesting question.
Also, I believe that readers are good learners. So I like to have people on my team who care about learning. There is so much nuance to that question but regardless of if you love reading, it’s so helpful. This answer can make a fun ice breaker question if they make it to the next step of you actually interviewing them.
2. Ask for their Enneagram type and Myers Brigg type.
I’d only recommend asking this as part of your job application questions if you actually understand typing otherwise it’s not helpful really. I love Myers Briggs and Enneagram so I have asked about both! In my last hiring, I not only asked for the type but linked them to a specific test for each that they could take online and asked them to attach their results to the application itself.
Here’s what’s amazing about this request:
Going back to attention to detail… if they skip that step, they aren’t paying attention and you could use that as a way to weed out applicants.
This is going to sound funny, but as someone in the online business, very virtual world, I was always curious HOW people would download and attach the results for the tests.
For example, you could take a photo of the results page from your phone and attach it as a jpg to the email. You could download the web page as a PDF, you could screenshot it and send that. I was always curious to see.
If you actually understand typing, you can kind of see what skill set they have and how that meshes with the job you’re wanting them to do.
For example, if you’re hiring someone to do customer support, then you’re looking for traits of deep care for people, attention to detail, tons of patience, problem-solving with questions they might not know off the top of their head, kindness, and enthusiasm.
In general, it’s helpful to use these job applications questions because they help you know how to best communicate with team members based on their types! You could also do another personality assessment like DISC or something else that you enjoy!
Tune into the full episode to hear the last 2 job application questions that will really help you get to know the people who are applying to work with you and helo you hire the right people!
Additional things to look for:
- How they address the email
- Drive and motivation
- Good grammar
- Ability to follow basic directions
So guys! If you are hiring someone, a right-hand person, someone to be in your business with you, then I hope these job application questions help you find the right person! If you liked this episode and want to hear MORE hiring tips, let me know over on Instagram @elizabethmccravy. Tell me your biggest takeaways from this episode and any team building questions you want to hear answered.