9 Questions You Can Ask to Gauge the Trustworthiness of Potential Hires

productive question you can ask a potential hire

your business is one of the most important things in your life, it’s hard to trust others to handle any aspect of it. No matter how good a candidate looks on paper, you likely won’t have a good idea of how trustworthy they are until you’re able to meet them face-to-face. Luckily, there are some productive questions you can ask a potential hire to help you gauge their trustworthiness.

To help, a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) members share their thoughts on the following question:

“What’s the most productive question you can ask a potential hire to gauge their trustworthiness? Why is this important?”

Here’s what they recommend you ask during your next interview.

1. What Didn’t You Like About Your Former Job or Boss?

“Ask one thing they didn’t like about their former job or boss and see if their answer is authentic. If they play the blame game, that says a lot about their ability to criticize with grace, their level of compassion and their views on responsibility. If they give an answer looking at all the factors that may have led to the problem, they may be emotionally intelligent, which shows trustworthiness.” ~ Givelle Lamano, Lamano Law Office

2. What Are Your Core Values and Vision?

“In smaller businesses especially, you want their core values to align with yours. If they don’t, it will create turmoil, and that person will either leave of their own accord or be asked to leave down the line. When the company is first growing, every member needs to be pointing in the same direction if they are going to be able to trust each other.” ~ Liam Leonard, DML Capital

3. What Are Your Weaknesses?

“Surprisingly, everyone struggles to answer this one. But this general question is a great way to find out if a prospective employee has a healthy level of self-awareness, where they can be open and honest, and if they are letting these weaknesses hold them back.” ~ Shu Saito, All Filters

4. What’s a Problem You’ve Faced and How Did You Resolve It?

“The best way to gauge the trustworthiness of a potential hire is to ask them questions about problems they faced or even created in previous jobs, and how they resolved them. This will give you insight into how truthful they can be — and also whether or not they can actually find ways to fix issues and improve themselves.” ~ Benjamin Rojas, All in One SEO

5. When Has Being Late Impacted Your Work?

“Ask your employee about a time when being late impacted their work. This is a good question because it helps you understand if the candidate considers timing an essential factor for success. It also reflects their work ethic and helps you understand if the candidate is trustworthy.” ~ Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

6. What Would It Take for You to Leave This Job?

“Ask them what it would take for them to leave the job. Honest candidates will tell you the criteria they had in mind for their dream job, along with the things they do and don’t value from an employer. You’ll want to be wary of candidates who are too apprehensive about what it takes to garner their loyalty since they’ll be more likely to withhold crucial information when it truly matters.” ~ Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep Mattress

7. Would You Take a Pay Cut if Necessary?

“The most productive question to ask a potential hire is whether they would take a pay cut if the company was in trouble. This question is productive because it gauges their sense of loyalty and commitment to the company. If they are willing to take a pay cut, then they are more likely to be committed and loyal.” ~ Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

8. What’s a Time When You Made a Wrong Decision?

“Ask your potential hire about a time they made a wrong decision. This question helps you identify if the potential candidate is willing to take responsibility for their actions. Admitting their mistakes without playing the blame game and seeking guidance shows that they are reliable and trustworthy.” ~ Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

9. What’s an Obvious Flaw the Company/Product Has?

“I’d ask a question about an obvious flaw that my company or product has. I think that an honest candidate who can help the company grow will do the difficult job of letting me know that something can be better. A candidate who can be frank about how they’d improve my work in the context of an interview is someone I’d rely on for their trustworthiness.” ~ Blair Williams, MemberPress

Image: Depositphotos

The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.