Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s best interview question

The NY Times recently interviewed Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. Most of the published conversation focuses on building a good corporate culture.

When asked for his best interview question, Tony offered this:

What would you say is the biggest misperception that people have of you?

Really good one. I usually ask “if I called someone who reported to you at your last gig, how would they describe you?” I used to explicitly require 3 good things and 1 criticism, but once or twice I forgot to set that criteria and quickly learned hear how many people start with something critical when left to their own devices.

Tony’s question is likely to elicit even more information, as he explains:

It’s a combination of how self-aware people are and how honest they are. I think if someone is self-aware, then they can always continue to grow. If they’re not self-aware, I think it’s harder for them to evolve or adapt beyond who they already are.