World's most successful leaders reveal their top interview Qs

Business leaders often have a set of interview questions that uncover the inner workings of their potential employees. And recruiters could take a few tips from their strategy - considering that they're hiring for some of the world’s most successful companies.

We've collated some of their questions and their reasons for them - varying from wacky to cryptic - below…


The social media giant’s Global Head of Recruiting Miranda Kalinowski and Vice President of People Lori Goler, recently spoke to Business Insider about recruiting at Facebook, and revealed their number one question to ask candidates: "What are you doing on your best day?"

Kalinowski explains: "Typically, if we find out about their best day, we can unpack that and really find out what drives them and motivates them. Whether it's meeting with clients, coding, or calculating a spreadsheet, it's going to be different for everyone. That's the beauty of bringing all these people together."


The Virgin CEO, Richard Branson, likes to ask his candidates: “What didn't you get a chance to include on your résumé?” 

In his book The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership, he wrote: "Obviously a good CV is important, but if you were going to hire by what they say about themselves on paper, you wouldn’t need to waste time on an interview.

"As important as it is to look at what a candidate has achieved elsewhere, I have always believed that the single most important thing to consider is 'personal fit'. By that I mean, is this someone whose way of being, sense of humour, and general demeanour will dovetail easily with your company’s culture?"


At the World Government Summit in Dubai, the Tesla creator, Elon Musk, revealed that he asks candidates: "Tell me the story of your life, and the decisions that you made along the way, and why you made them, and also tell me about some of the most difficult problems you worked on, and how you solved them."

He also likes to quiz candidates with this strategic scenario: “You're standing on the surface of the Earth. You walk one mile south, one mile west, and one mile north. You end up exactly where you started. Where are you?”


Kat Cole, President of Cinnabon, tells Business Insider she asks: “What would the closest person in your life say if I asked them, ‘What is the one characteristic that they totally dig about you, and the one that drives them insane?’


Heidi Zak, CEO of ThirdLove and former Senior Marketing Manager at Google said her favourite interview question is: "One year from now, if you're part of the team at ThirdLove, how will you judge if [your time here] has been a success?"

The question is designed to assess whether or not the candidate will make a good cultural fit, and to see whether they “inherently possess those values in their personality”.


CEO Tony Hsiesh said he asks: “On a scale of one to ten, how weird are you?” He told Business Insider that the number the applicant responds with isn’t really important, it’s how they answer the question itself.

He claimed: “If you're a one, you probably are a little bit too straight-laced for the Zappos culture. If you're a ten, you might be too psychotic for us.”


Yasmin Green, Head of Research and Development at Jigsaw – formerly known as Google Ideas – has one particular quandary she likes to throw at potential hires. During Marie Claire's Power Trip summit, she revealed that she liked to ask candidates: “How would you make money from an ice-cream stand in Central Park?”

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