What Do They Read?

I like the idea of discussing a wide range of subjects with prospective employees. With that in mind, one question you could ask is simply:

“What do you read?”

Be prepared for all kinds of answers to this question. A few may even ask, “What do you mean?”

“Well, Bob, I’m curious what you read. Do you read books? If so, what subjects interest you?”

Now I realize just asking if they read books might rub a few people the wrong way, but how people get their information and what kind of information they seek can be an eye-opener.

If they do read books, are they reading thrillers, romance novels, mysteries?

There’s nothing wrong with reading thrillers or romance novels, but let’s say they’re very inquisitive and they read a ton of how-to books. That could be a good sign.

Now your applicant may say, “well, I don’t read books, but I do read a lot on the Internet.”

“That’s great. What kind of information do you read on the net?”

Some may use the net to check out their favorite sports teams; others may be interested in what celebrities are up to; some may be politically inclined and will take a few minutes (or hours) checking on the political scene. Obviously there’s just about everything on the net to check out.

With this tip, you’re basically interested in finding out three things:

  • How curious, how inquisitive is your applicant?
  • What methods do they use to acquire information?
  • What is their purpose for acquiring new information? Is it simply for entertainment or is your applicant interested in becoming more skilled in some way?

The answers to these questions can give you additional insights.


As the law varies in each area, please check with an attorney to ensure you are applying these tips within the law.

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