ONE Simple Question to Use in Interviews to Hire a New Team Member or Add Someone to Your Team!

Trying to hire a new team member or add someone to your team can be difficult –


You never know how they will mesh with your established culture, how they will interact with existing team members, or how true to their interview or trial-period personas they will stay…


As a teammate or team leader, the quality of your teammates impacts the quality of your life!


The best thing about where you work is the people –

(and sometimes the worst thing about where you work… is the people!)


WHO you work with and the ATTITUDE or WORK ETHIC they have can have significant impact on your mental health – and your happiness at work.



So, how do you determine if you should hire or add someone to your team?


Well, you can have them take a quiz to find their team personality style to see what their tendencies are, and you can conduct multiple interviews with various members of your team, but those still don’t ensure you will find a strong fit.


Some people are different in the honeymoon phase than they are once the difficult daily work of marriage begins.


But there is one POWERFUL question that you can ask that will equip you with a tremendous understanding of what kind of teammate the candidate might be.


This question can be asked early or late in the process – you can even ask existing team members to see if they should be promoted to leadership positions.  But someone who answers the question in an unsuccessful way should NEVER be considered as a possible member of your team!


The question is a simple one, but it gives insight into how your candidate might respond when they experience adversity – and that is the true test of any teammate or leader… because when bad moments occur there are only two paths that most people choose:


1- They point at others, complain, and seek scapegoats to assign blame




2- They point at THEMSELVES as owners responsible for fixing what is broken.



And the way you determine which path your candidate is likely to take when storms arrive and circumstances become uncomfortable is this:


Before asking the question, focus your conversation with the candidate on a time when things were NOT going well at a previous job or role they had.


Ask them what went wrong, in their mind.


Then ask them this ONE simple question:


“What would need to happen for that to improve

if you were in the same situation again?”



Then sit quietly and wait.

LISTEN to their reply…


And most importantly, notice where their focus is when they provide their answer.


If they point at THEMSELVES, they are likely to claim responsibility for fixing problems.  People who discuss things that THEY CAN CONTROL will be far more likely to be winning teammates and look in the mirror for answers, actions, and adjustments.


BUT – as a teamwork speaker, I can tell you that if they instead point at others… if they list the many things that were not THEIR FAULT and blame circumstances or things thy are not in control of… the best thing you can do is to thank them for their time and keep looking for a new teammate elsewhere.


Losers refuse to claim ownership of issues.  They remain victims of situations and other’s behaviors.


But winning teammates will point at themselves.  Winning Teammates focus on what THEY can control.  They claim responsibility for results… THAT is the type of person you should seek to add to your team!


Hiring and onboarding new team members is a huge part of building a more positive and productive team culture.


Of course, we’ve all made mistakes.  So, if you have made the blunder of hiring poorly in the past, I’d like to ask you one simple question…


“What would need to happen for that to improve if you were in the same situation again?