Duolingo CEO, Luis Von Ahn shares his favourite interview question.
Do not expect everybody to like you in your lifetime. But its necessary to be self-aware to know about yourself and especially, why somebody won’t like you.
It is even of more importance if you are interviewing at Duolingo, a language app. CEO and founder Luis Von Ahn says he likes to ask a certain question to every employee candidate he interviews: “What would someone who doesn’t like you tell us about you?”, and he has got some embarrassing answers to this question in the past. However, this is a question that generally crashed the interviews he had taken.
“A bad answer for that is, ‘Everybody likes me,'” he says. “That’s not a good answer. Like, okay, you’re lying. You’re either lying or you’re clueless.”
People often blame external sources to be the cause, and that’s even worse. People think that the ones who don’t like them are often the ones who don’t understand their actual personality and nature.
“I think the responses that are concerning are like, ‘People who don’t like me just don’t understand me, and they’re usually just wrong,'” he says. “They’re not taking responsibility for anything.”
People are generally honest and this is what a CEO wants at the end of the day. Ahn further told that people sometimes openly express their flaws and this is the best thing.
Everyone has their downsides, and openly addressing and accepting those downsides is the main goal of this question. In an interview, no one needs to hear your sugar-coated words, and candidates must try to avoid being defensive and try develop a self-critique and self-awareness, not just for your strengths but for flaws, too.