The Million Dollar Question.

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I’ve seen your resume,


Mr. Dweeb,


but what I really want


to know is what would


you do with a million


dollars cash, right now?”


One of the best –most revealing– interview questions you can ask a job applicant is ”If I handed you a million dollars right now, what would you do with it?” 

You’ll learn a whole lot more about what makes an applicant tick than you would by asking the person to explain the details of information shown on her or his resume.

Open-ended questions put an applicant more at ease than requests for formal recitations of what you already have in front of you on paper, or can easily find out. 

Open-ended questions can give you true, realistic profile. The answers are necessarily unrehearsed. You can gain valuable insights about an individual’s attitude, sense of leadership, teamwork, and self-motivation.

Almost always, clues (if not strong indications) are offered in the answers to this type of question that help the employer gain a better measure of a prospective employee’s ambitions, values, key relationships, sense of loyalty, spirituality, and even bad habits, than with traditional interview approaches. 

Ask and then listen.  Don’t interrupt.  Take notes. Ask only for clarification or examples . . . 

Oh, so what I think I hear you saying

is that you’d book the next flight to the

islands, load up on piña coladas, and

live out your life as a beachcomber?


Then ask questions about the answers you get to “the million dollar question.” 

That certainly sounds like a great vacation, but do you think you might get tired of it after awhile?  Which islands would you most likely consider and why?  Would you take up exotic foods and drinks?  What kinds of transportation would you take to get there? Who would you take with you? (Would you rush . . . or take your time, plan your routes, and see the sights along the way?)   

In responding to open-ended questions, people often tell considerably more about their real selves than what’s on a resume.  And if spontaneity and creative thinking are qualifications, you’ll get a taste of what an applicant might bring to the table.  The more you know about a job applicant, the better your odds for success with making the right employment decision.

In the end, after all is said and done, business leaders can’t be reminded enough that:

People are your most important asset.


So what would YOU do with a million dollars cash, right now?



# # # or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!”   [Thomas Jefferson]

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