3 interview questions to identify top performers

3 interview questions to identify top performers

Scaling a team in rapid growth can be expensive in time, resource and team dynamics if you get it wrong.

If you’re in a startup, it’s unlikely that you have a dedicated talent team. Have some questions prepared that will help you identify top performers.

It’s important to remember that asking the right question is only the half of it! You need to understand your candidate's response and body language.

Our Principal, Michelle shares 3 key interview questions to help you identify top performers.


Question 1: What makes you stand out among your peers?

In today's competitive market it’s vital to hire people who have more than a ‘paycheck mentality’.

Your startup needs people who can help increase revenue, streamline workflow and add some creativity to the workplace.

This question will help you identify proven performers and will also show if the individual can think in a commercial context.

Keep in mind that this question isn’t about being right or wrong. What’s important is the timing and conviction with which it is started.

With this question you are looking for confidence through eye contact and body language. The candidate will either back off (tell you an a whole lot more!) or rise to the occasion.


Question 2: What has been your most creative achievement at work?

When we say creativity, we mean the ability of thinking outside the box.

Individuals who can re-frame problems and create new solutions are rare and valuable to any startup.

Sometimes a candidate may not want to share achievements as they are afraid it will come across as bragging. Swapping past creative achievements is a great place to start when dealing with modest individuals.


Question 3: How does your position relate to the overall goals of your department or start up?

A high performer is someone who can see how their performance ties into the bigger picture.

With this question, it’s important to ask for specific examples to understand their responsibilities and level of authority.

When assessing candidates answers, look to see how they relate their position to the goals. This will indicate if their drivers, motivations and passion relates to your objectives.


Michelle has recently been working with Rovio and as a team they have recently been discussing attracting and retaining top performers. As a team they believe that top performers need to be role models, coach people and most importantly, fit in culturally.

Although startups need teams made up of top performers too many of the same profiles fighting to get seen, heard and competing for promotions can have a detrimental effect too. Remember to keep a balance in the team.

It’s important to get recruitment right. These questions should be a solid foundation for any interview.

We work with high growth gaming studios to ensure they hire the best staff for their companies and their environments. We work with you, on site, as part of your team. We’ve helped to build teams for Supercell, Klarna, Farmdrop and more. If you’d like help building your team, get in touch here .