The Ultimate Interview Question by Simon Sinek: Unveil a Candidate’s True Self

In the ever-evolving landscape of job interviews, standing out from the crowd can be a daunting task. Traditional interview questions often elicit rehearsed responses, making it challenging to gauge a candidate’s true potential and fit for the role. However, Simon Sinek, the renowned author and leadership expert, has shared a game-changing interview question that promises to reveal a candidate’s authenticity and potential challenges.

The Question: “I Hate Surprises. Can You Tell Me Something That Might Go Wrong Now So That I’m Not Surprised When It Happens?”

At first glance, this question may seem counterintuitive. After all, why would an interviewer want to know about potential problems before even hiring someone? The brilliance of this question lies in its ability to create an atmosphere of trust and open communication from the start.

Traditional interview questions like “What’s your biggest weakness?” often put candidates on the defensive, leading to canned responses and clichés like “I’m a perfectionist.” Sinek’s question, on the other hand, shifts the focus from critique to support. By framing the question as a request for assistance, candidates are more likely to open up and share their genuine concerns and potential challenges.

Sinek explains, “I’m not making it about them. I’m making it about me. I’m asking them to help me.” This approach disarms candidates and fosters a sense of collaboration, setting the stage for a more authentic and productive working relationship from the very beginning.

Why This Question Works

The beauty of Sinek’s question lies in its ability to reveal a candidate’s self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and problem-solving skills. By inviting candidates to disclose potential challenges upfront, employers gain valuable insights into how they might handle obstacles and setbacks.

One of Sinek’s employees shared a memorable response to this question during their interview: “I can get stressed and frustrated when having to give big presentations on short notice.” Another employee revealed their sensitivity to critical feedback. These candid admissions not only demonstrate vulnerability but also provide employers with a glimpse into the candidate’s strengths, weaknesses, and coping mechanisms.

Moreover, by addressing potential challenges early on, both the employer and the candidate can proactively develop strategies to navigate them more effectively. This open communication fosters a smoother working relationship and sets the stage for a more productive and fulfilling professional partnership.

Fostering Authenticity and Clarity in Leadership

Sinek’s innovative interview question aligns with his broader philosophy on leadership and organizational culture. According to him, leadership is about understanding, guiding, and supporting others. By creating an environment of trust and transparency from the outset, leaders can cultivate a more authentic and effective team dynamic.

As Sinek emphasizes, “When we position the question as a way to seek help and support rather than evaluate and critique, candidates tend to be more authentic.” This approach not only reveals a candidate’s true character but also sets the tone for a more collaborative and supportive work environment.

Implementing the Question in Your Interviews

If you’re looking to elevate your interview process and gain deeper insights into potential candidates, consider incorporating Sinek’s question into your repertoire. Here are some tips for effectively implementing this powerful question:

  1. Set the stage: Explain the intention behind the question and create a safe space for candidates to share their thoughts openly.
  2. Listen actively: Pay close attention to the candidate’s response, not just the content but also their tone, body language, and overall demeanor.
  3. Follow up: Ask clarifying questions and encourage the candidate to elaborate on their concerns or challenges.
  4. Offer support: Reassure the candidate that their honesty is appreciated and that you’re committed to working through potential obstacles together.

By embracing Sinek’s innovative approach to interviewing, you not only gain valuable insights into a candidate’s true self but also lay the foundation for a more authentic, supportive, and productive working relationship from the very beginning.

In the words of Simon Sinek himself, “Are you ready to lead with more authenticity and clarity?” Explore this game-changing interview question and unlock the full potential of your team and organization.

Answering Your Questions (Again) | Simon Says: Episode 2


What kind of questions are asked in 2nd round interview?

In your second interview, you’ll likely be asked more job-specific questions about how you might approach common challenges you’d face on the job. You might also be asked about your employment preferences such as salary, management style, motivations and career goals.

Is 2 questions enough in an interview?

If u are a skilled interviewer, u may really want to ask maybe 3-4 questions at most, to test the knowledge. If you want chatter, then there is definitely no limit! As far as your questions are relevant and show your curiosity to learn about your role and the company, the number of questions should not matter.

What are the 3 golden rules when one is being interviewed?

3 golden interview rules: be prepared, be professional, and most importantly, be yourself. The call you’ve been waiting for has come. A hiring manager wants to interview you. With your dream job a step closer, how you approach this opportunity will make all the difference.

What is a 2 interview?

When you get a second interview, it means the company sees something in you that they find interesting and see you as a possible match to the job and their culture. It’s an indicator you’re being seriously considered—so you’ll want to make the most of it.

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