Hiring is a skill that doesn’t come easy. But like any skill, it can be learned and improved if we are aware. Most of us don’t want to admit what we’re not good at it. Because acknowledging that we’ve made some bad hires forces us to wake up and realize (i) we screwed up and, (ii) we definitely need to fire someone. Maybe ourselves, lol.

Most companies hold onto employees that aren’t the right fit for far too long. And that’s costing your business big time! Not just financially either. Having the wrong employees on your staff hurts your productivity, erodes engagement and trust and your company culture, and ultimately inhibits results.

There is good news!   You can avoid all that if you learn how to hire the RIGHT PEOPLE in the first place. And we do that by asking GREAT QUESTIONS during the interview.

What Type of Person Are They?

I’ve had the privilege of working with companies like Qualcomm, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Inuit and let me tell you, it doesn’t matter how good the candidate looks on paper or what credentials they have. If they’re not the right type of person for your company or team, they’re not the right fit period.

During the interview process, you need to figure out what type of person they are, what their strengths are, and what their whys are. We have a great PDF below with all the questions you should be asking to help you figure these things out, but two of my favorite questions are:

-What’s the biggest misconception others have about you and why?

-What three words would you use to describe yourself and why?

Both of these questions will help you confirm or deny your initial assumptions about what sort of person they are and also help you understand their level of self-awareness. It also lets you get into the “real” authentic person not the rehearsed interviewee.  To see how powerful these questions can be, try them out with yourself and with the people that you know well – you will be surprised at the results!

Are They Positive and Optimistic?

As quickly as our lives move these days and as quickly as the world of work is changing, there is NO room for negativity. You need to be hiring positive, optimistic people who have a can-do attitude. People who are positive and optimistic are more likely to seek solutions to challenges, rather than allowing themselves to become stumped or stuck. And that’s exactly who you need in your company – people who are going to just figure it out on their own and find the help they need to get it done.

To evaluate a candidate’s pre-disposition towards turning lemons into lemonade, a few of the questions I love to ask are:

-What do you think about failure?

-When you’d have obstacles in your life, what have you done to overcome them?

-What characteristics or behaviors do you believe have contributed to failure around the positions you’ve held in the past and why?

After you ask these questions, listen closely. Sometimes you have to read between the lines of the candidate’s responses so make sure you listen for clues that indicate whether they respond more positively or negatively to being challenged.  And, also ask targeted follow up questions.

To conclude, when you’re hiring you’re primarily looking to answer just two questions about every candidate: what type of person are they and are they positive/optimistic. It’s not rocket science and yet we get so caught up in fact-checking their resume and making sure they have all the technical skills, we forget to ask the questions that will help us figure out who the person sitting across from us actually is!

So, before you make your next hire, make sure you download our free PDF with the kinds of questions you should be asking every candidate. Just fill out the form below to get it. And if you still need help, please reach out to us for coaching!


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Dan was interviewed by Paul Brodie on the Get Published Podcast. They talked about what it takes to write and publish your first book. Listen to the podcast here.


Paul: What is the one piece of advice that you would give to a first-time author who is currently writing their book?

Dan: The biggest piece of advice that I could give to a first-time author is that you need to understand that writing a book is a process. Like everything else it takes time, not everything has to work into the time frame that you want to jam it into.  If you actually become a slave to the process and enjoy the process, you’ll win because you will enjoy the experience of creating something and the end result much more.

Paul:  What do you feel is the hardest part of getting published?

Dan: Well we self-published so it was a little bit different for us. We didn’t do any of the proposals, we published it ourselves. I think the hardest part for me was the mindset to just go for it and be able to listen to the advice from all the people that I know that have done it before and to really understand when you are a first-time author you are a nobody.  You really just need to figure out how to get your baby made. It’s all about that.

Paul:  Please you share a marketing strategy that you have used in your book launch that worked out?

Dan:  The biggest thing about the book launch was trying to approach it from every Avenue we could. Social media can be really tough when you don’t have a lot of followers and you are kind of a nobody to start.  So you really need to rely on your lists and your contacts and kind of beg borrow and steal to get people to pay attention to the book.  I think we’ve had a big success.  I think we have 10,000 sold or delivered so for a first-time author we were super excited being able to do that. We would watch our Amazon sales and everything else. Marketing is a very diverse thing of going after every single Avenue that you can to get your message out. Which includes blog writing, talking to other authors, being published on other blogs, interviews, podcasts, free speaking galore, whatever you can do to get your message out there.

Paul: Great.  What is your favorite book and what was the number one and what was the thing that you learned from it?

Dan:  You know my favorite book changes du jour or de month  I’m such a hound for reading books, especially self-improvement but all kinds of books.   My current two books are written by the same author Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields and the other book he wrote, How to Live a Good Life. What I really love about the book uncertainty was that you really need to lean into uncertainty and take it by the hand. The more you lean into uncertainty, the better things can happen for you. The second book was really focusing on making sure how you can structure your mindset.  It is about a systematic approach to living the good life and thinking positive thoughts. So those are the two du jour but you know, I’m always loving on someone else’s book.

Paul: Well and that is always one of the hardest questions that I think I asked on the show because it changes so often so I have a lot of people on the show that bill typically just, “Well I don’t know about just one, but I’ll share a few of my most recent ones.” that seems to be the du jour so to speak.

Dan: I love The Go-Giver, I love Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends & Influence People I love Mel Robbin’s The 5 Second Rule and not necessarily the book but the things within the book, Good to Great, I mean we could go on and on and on about the amazing books that are out there and you take out of each of them what you want, what you get, and  what serves you. That’s the cool thing about books.

Paul:  Absolutely let’s talk about your favorite quote. What is your favorite quote and why?

Dan: My favorite quote I think is by Henry David Thoreau, my oldest son wrote about it in his college essay, and it is ” Life is not about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.” (I looked this up later, found that it is also attributed to George Bernard Shaw) I really think that is the truth. For all the young people and our book is about impacting and shaping all people’s lives but principally those that are young and high performers. It really is about creating yourself that is the process of the journey and I love that quote because it’s true. It’s all about the mindset and it’s not that we’re on this journey to go figure out one day through Define intervention something happens to us and we go “aha”. It’s about all those little lessons and all the people who happen to come into our lives and all the experiences along the way and what we do with them to create great stuff for ourselves and to impact other people. That’s why I love that quote.

Paul:  Dan, thank you for coming onto our show. What is the best way for people to find you online?

Dan:  The best way to find me is at DanNegroni.com and that’s all of our speaking business and we have another Consulting business launchbox365.com or they can follow us @Dan.Negroni  on Instagram or DanNegroniSpeaker on Facebook

You can grab a copy of Paul’s book at getpublishedpodcast.com 

Dan Negroni’s book, Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage and Maximize Next Generation Leaders in the Workplace is available for purchase on Amazon.