How did you prepare for this meeting with me today?
Boom! Like water on a wicked witch, we will see the poorly prepared splutter and shrink in the spotlight, while the true sales champion will be thrilled that we asked. They will explain to us how they dug into our websites, Googled our competitors and industry, reviewed our work histories on LinkedIn and found photos of our dogs on Instagram. They will be prepared in the way we always want them to be when they meet our clients: ready to set themselves apart.
(1) I like this question a lot, because it probes what someone has actually done in a real world situation — “You came here to sell me on yourself; what did you do to prepare?”
(2) This is more powerful than using tests to ascertain their capabilities, because tests don’t occur in a real work context. And it’s far more powerful than asking the candidate to talk about their capabilities.
(3) See How to run a job interview.