This week’s KIQ is a present-day twist on the “where do you want to be?” question. It forces the applicant to assess their lot in life and reflect on the paths that led to this moment. Deep.
“Why are you where you are in your life right now?”
This interview question was posited on the official blog of online graphic design platform Canva. According to Canva’s people operations chief Mahesh Muralidhar, it’s a question that every business should ask its prospective employees.
“It’s a broad question: it forces people to stop, and have an opinion,” Muralidhar explains.
“There is no right answer…It doesn’t matter if you explain your story as a series of decisions you made, or a series of situations forced on you that you’ve navigated.
“Everyone has miss-steps, what we look for are people who have thought through their actions. Formed an opinion on who they are, what is important to them, where they want to get to, come up with a plan and executed on the plan.
“What we’re looking for is clarity, energy and the kind of mind that wants to get to the core of whatever it is that they are tackling. We want people who think for themselves, and are constantly pushing themselves to understand the fundamental drivers of any decision.”
As Muralidhar goes on to explain, this question also conveys to the applicant that the company sees them as more than a cog in a wheel. Their career progression, important life choices, trials and tribulations, who they are and what they stand for; all of it matters.