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40 percent
98 percent

What to listen for

  • Owning of failures, rather than passing the blame
  • Self-reflection on what went wrong, with a clear sense of what to do differently next time

What this question assesses

  • Determination to persist past mistakes, rather than being discouraged
  • Humility and adaptation in the face of failure

What to listen for

  • Thoughtful, advanced planning that demonstrates organization and interest in an endeavor
  • Concrete steps they’ve taken to maintain a focused approach on achieving their goals

What this question assesses

  • Enthusiasm and diligence in achieving long-term goals
  • Motivation and perseverance, even when something goes unexpectedly

What to listen for

  • Centering around the negative, futile consequences of continuing down the same path
  • Careful, objective considerations of the pros and cons of giving up, and alternative solutions

What this question assesses

  • Ability to recognize a lost cause, although they don’t give up easily
  • Poise in backing out and making every effort to minimize unwanted consequences

Additional resources

What your hiring style is telling candidates

How to influence candidates’ perception of your company.

Make a winning impression

Angela Lee Duckworth on the power of passion and perseverance

Why self-control and grit can help predict professional success.

Learn why grit matters

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Brendan Browne leads recruiting for LinkedIn. Prior to joining LinkedIn, he led recruiting and HR at Microsoft, Northwest Mutual, and Sapient. A 15-year industry veteran, Brendan is passionate about nurturing high performing, healthy, scaleable companies.

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Lilian Tham drives executive hiring at Airbnb, where she’s excited to help steer the company through their IPO and post-IPO growth. Lilian previously led executive hiring for Google and Howard Fischer Associates, and managed marketing at American Express.

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Nick Gorski leads data engineering at Grand Rounds. Previously, he was an engineering manager at Twitter and a software engineer at TellApart, which Twitter acquired in 2015. Nick specializes in data platforms, machine learning, and distributed computing.

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Deanna Fleming leads the sales organization at Newell Brands Technical Apparel (NBTA). Prior to joining NBTA, she was the vice president of marketing and innovation at Harmless Harvest, where she managed the company’s expansive growth.