The One Interview Question to Evaluate a Candidate’s Ambition and Passion

December 5th, 2014 by lewis


One of the biggest challenges for any hiring manager is identifying ambition and passion in a candidate. Aaron Hurst, founder of Taproot, has identified a clever interview question to evaluate those two traits: How would you describe your ideal retirement?

Hurst classifies answers into three buckets:

The TGIF Crowd: This group sees work as a means to an end — nothing more, nothing less. They’re always looking forward to the weekend and would almost definitely quit their jobs if they won the lottery.

The Status-Seekers: These people see work as a way of gaining social status and prestige. They’re working to give themselves a positive identity and to show their peers how well they’re doing.

The Purpose-Driven Employees: These people find work meaningful in and of itself, and see their careers as a way of creating good in the world. They can’t stand the idea of not working.

Which bucket are you in?

Photo credit: Taproot Foundation

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One Response to “The One Interview Question to Evaluate a Candidate’s Ambition and Passion”

  1. January 14, 2016 at 10:37 pm, Sudhi said:

    The Purpose-Driven Employees – passionate about creating value & meaning