• Matthew Lerner

Growth Mindset Interview Questions (2 of 3)

Okay, part 2 of "How do you interview for 'growth mindset."

I have 3 go-to questions, here’s #2:

Tell me about a mistake you made recently.”

Non-verbal reaction is very important here, watch closely! They will likely be surprised, and need to think about the answer. (Fine). But is it a positive surprise? Or are they uncomfortable? (huge red flag!)

Do they come up with a bullshit/fake mistake? Or blame someone else? Or can they really talk openly about an honest cock-up they made? Was it a tactical error or a strategic one? (Do they sweat small stuff or big stuff?) Were they able to draw any useful lessons from that mistake? Do they volunteer those lessons un-prompted? If not, definitely ask “what did you learn from that?”

Remember, how they answer is as important as what they say.

While openness is great for most roles, it's essential for "growth" people: Remember, startup growth is a process of rapid experimentation, and you're wrong more often than you're right. So 90% of the value is learning from your mistakes. (And that starts with acknowledging them!)

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