This interview question reveals the most about a candidate, says a senior Microsoft HR executive

Like many major tech companies, Microsoft is looking for employees with excellent IT skills who can work well in a team and are focused on solving problems.

But there is one quality that is even more important: “Technical knowledge is of course important for a technology company like ours. But what counts just as much, or is even more important, is the mindset of an applicant,” said Markus Köhler, head of human resources at Microsoft Deutschland to our colleagues at Business Insider Deutschland.

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“We are looking for people with a ‘growth mentality’. So curious people who want to develop further and continue to learn,” says Köhler. “You should also feel comfortable with us and that means change gives you energy and no negative stress.”

It is not so easy to deduce from a CV whether someone has the right mentality. That is why the personal conversation is important.

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Köhler has a favorite question to learn more about the mindset of applicants. One of the hardest questions he likes to ask is:

“What was the biggest mistake of your career?”

It is often challenging to talk about things that have gone wrong. “With this question you can see very clearly how someone deals with it,” explains Köhler.

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An applicant’s answer makes it clear whether someone can admit mistakes and what they have learned from them. This not only gives recruiters insight into how a candidate solves problems, but also how someone deals with their own weaknesses.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider Deutschland.

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Author: Jobly