Must Have Interview Questions for Finding Purpose Driven Employees

Gone are the days where we can recruit to the technical components of a JD & expect to see long term fit. And more than ever we hear about the need to align on culture & values.  But 11 years of consistent hiring tells me fit is more than values.  Because let’s be honest, not all organisations live their values.

We need to look holistically at a person, not just in the context of the role that needs filling.  
Because the workplace is rapidly changing, and we’re working with a generation that’s increasingly restless for a sense of meaning & fulfillment, that’s hungry for purpose. 

So I dig. 

Into the said and the unsaid.

For both your sakes.

As interviewers we have the privilege of gaining a glimpse into somebody’s life for a short moment in time. Into their hopes and ambitions. And their fears.  And this is an honour.  A moment worthy of the joy in creating game- changing introductions, or worthy the respect to suggest another direction is needed – with heart.

We look for answers in what’s said verbally, but also through the eyes, the smile, the body. 

Because I can tell you, when you’ve hit the nail on someone’s drivers it lights up their face. Like finding an acupuncture point. And from that moment we can really start to talk about what’s meaningful.

So I ask any number of the below, along with the technical interview Q’s. 

And somewhere in the overlap between the two, you catch a glimpse of what’s going to set someone’s heart on hire, or equally important, have them eyeing up the exit signs during induction. 

I have two small caveats**

*** To be able to draw out a high level of authenticity in someone, we have a responsibility to show up ourselves with a high level of authenticity. 

*** These questions are used alongside the technical Q’s, not in lieu of. Because lasting fulfilment comes through the working towards and mastering a craft – and because nobody wins when we put people in roles that are out of their depth.


My Go-To Interview Questions:

What’s missing in your current role?  
(I love this question, because even passive candidates have a concern or aspiration that brought them to the table)

One of my clients re-frames this to ‘what would make you leave a job?’ and inadvertently people seem more likely to disclose exactly what’s happening in their current role

Why did you leave? (asked consistently through the job history will likely show up patterns for exit). 

What are you working towards long term?

What motivates you? 

How will you know you’ve found what you’re looking for? Or, What are the three elements of your next role (or non negotiables) that’ll set your heart your heart on fire?

We all make mistakes. What’s been the biggest stuff up or failure of your career to date?  How did you deal with it? And what was the outcome? 

Is this where you thought you’d be when you set out? What were you aiming for originally/what did you want to be when you commenced your degree/finished uni/started your career?  What inspired the detour?

What’s been the most enjoyable role you’ve held so far? Why?

What are the most challenging parts of a role like this? Why?

Which of your employers have you enjoyed working for the most? Why?

What are your passion projects outside of work? 

All roles have challenges or stress at times. Do you a success formula or a resilience practice that helps to mitigate stress?  

There are so many studies that indicate 95% of our lives are determined by our habits, or the autopilot we let the subconscious mind run on. What are your habits? What habits would your closest friends know you for?

Of everything that you’ve achieved so far, what’s taken the longest to achieve the desired result?

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