9 Insightful Questions to Help Understand What People Can Bring to the Role 

How to Hire the Best Person for the Job

Learning Resources From School of WorkLife. Resources to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning.
Resources to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning.

imagesIn a Harvard Business Review article, Kevin Ryan, founder and CEO of Gilt Groupe, suggests going beyond the referees supplied by a candidate and utilising your network to find mutual contacts who can provide candid feedback to insightful questions.

The following good interview questions to ask support good hiring practices. 

1. Would you hire this person again? 

Follow on questions to dig deeper: If so, why and in what capacity? If not, why not?

2. How would you describe the candidate’s ability to innovate, manage, lead, deal with ambiguity, get things done, and influence others?

3. What were some of the best things this person accomplished? 

4. What could he or she have done better?

5. In what type of culture, environment and role can you see this person excelling? 

6. In what type of role is he or she unlikely to be successful?

7. Would you describe the candidate as a leader, a strategist, an executor, a collaborator, a thinker, or something else? 

Follow on question to dig deeper:  Can you give me some examples to support your description?

8. Do people enjoy working with this candidate, and would former co-workers want to work with him or her again?

9. In what areas does the candidate need to improve?

Perhaps Kevin’s thinking and approach are quite radical, or maybe not. It is congruent with his philosophy that businesses succeed not because of a unique idea and vision but because of the people and the execution that matters. And execution relies on human talent, which demands building and maintaining a high calibre team. And in order to do this, a candidate’s true potential needs to be understood. 

The approach described supports the right decision being made for important hires, and of course, all hires are important. Companies with good hiring practices will attest to that. They will also attest to the benefits of good hiring practices as outlined in Kevin’s thinking.

Words of Wisdom

Insightful questions lead to effective feedback.

The Corporate Drama – Role-play for Real-play: Hire for Potential short film shows a difficult scenario set up to enable candidates to demonstrate how they would handle a difficult WorkLife situation. 


This story was originally published on 20/2/15. I needed to republish it to add updates and also to tell you

… The Continuing Story …

The pandemic brought about a change in my WorkLife from delivering in-person individual coaching sessions and group workshops to creating resources to help people self direct their WorkLife learning.

In the last three years, I’ve published 30 books and over 200 stories.

Each book and each story is based on real life struggles and successes that people have encountered in their WorkLife. They also detail the exercises that helped navigate through these situations, which are set as assignments for readers to adapt to their WorkLife situations and learning needs.

I believe stories are a powerful mechanism for teaching, a powerful medium to learn through, and a powerful way to communicate who you are and what you stand for.

My inspiration for creating my work comes from a lifelong passion for learning. My work has taught me that the one thing in life that can never be taken away from you is your learning. 

School of WorkLife Guiding Statement: To create resources that are helpful, insightful and inspiring in helping people to pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, purpose, passion and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes and resources that are accessible to everyone.

The resources I create will help you take ownership of self directing your learning in your own space and in your own time.


School of WorkLife helps you self-direct your WorkLife learning through resources that have been created to help you to take ownership of your learning in your own space and in your own time. 

What is Self Directed Learning?

Self -Directed Learning is when an individual is motivated to take the initiative and responsibility on decisions related to their own learning. It is a series of independent actions and judgements free from external control and constraint. 

Resources to Help You Self-Direct Your Learning 

This is another Harvard article by Kevin Ryan on Building a Team of Players

You may find the books below from The School of WorkLife Book Series helpful in meeting your learning needs as a self directed learner. Tap the book title to see a preview of what’s inside.

How To Self-Coach, Direct and Lead Effectively 

How To Embrace The Superpower of Self-Awareness 

How To Fine-Tune The Superpower of Observation 

You can view the complete collection of books here: The School of WorkLife Book Series.

Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning.
Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning. 

Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning.  These include a Collection of Books which originated from her first book, Your WorkLife Your Way and a  Learn Through Reading Series of Case Studies.  which originated from her latest book WorkLife Book Club. 

That’s the power of writing (and reading, which is an integral part of the craft for writers), it helps you find, develop and tell the right story at the right time in all WorkLife situations – in day-to-day communication: WorkLife and feedback conversations, presentations, talks, and negotiations, at interviews, and when socialising and networking in building and maintaining good relationships. The practice of writing helps you to tell the stories that express who you are in an interesting and engaging way.

Published by Carmel O' Reilly

Carmel O’ Reilly: WorkLife Learning Practitioner & Writer Author of WorkLife Book Club, Your WorkLife Your Way and The School of WorkLife book series. Created to help you manage your WorkLife Learning. Blogger & Podcaster: Telling people’s powerful stories about WorkLife challenges & successes Founder of www.schoolofworklife.com My guiding statement is to help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, passion, purpose and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes that are accessible to everyone.