Weekly Tools and Tips to Improve Any Relationship

August 3, 2015

Ask the Expert

Dear Jeremy,

Do you have some suggestions for interview questions to help determine a good fit with the company?




Dear Lori,

Thank you so much for submitting your question!

Many people utilize the Color Code Personality System in the selection process, even though we do not officially endorse it as a hiring/firing tool. It can, however, have some strong applications in that arena if utilized properly. So, yes, I do have suggestions for the types of questions you might want to use in the interview process, and I’ll be happy to share those with you in this post.

First, please allow me to state something very clearly…

We strongly believe, based on decades of practice and observation, that any of our four, Color Code Personality Types can do any kind of job. You don’t have to be a Red to be successful in a leadership role, or a Blue to be an exceptional nurse, or a Yellow to be a top-producing salesperson, or a White to be an amazing dentist, etc. You will find successful Reds, Blues, Whites, and Yellows in all kinds of careers – even in areas that might surprise you! – because people can learn, grow, and adapt. You might have four police officers, each with a different Color Code, and they can all be successful. They will simply bring a different style and outlook to the job… and that’s a good thing, right?

(Of course it is!)

So with that said, somebody might ask, “Then why Color Code job applicants in the first place?”

I assure you that there is actually a VERY good reason for this. It is, in a word, “CONGRUENCE”.

Everybody knows that employment interviews are tricky. Any candidate can put on a good face, and people have become extremely adept at telling you what you want to hear. One of the greatest challenges of the interviewer, therefore, is to determine how genuine/truthful the job applicants are actually being.

Enter the Color Code, and your questions, Lori. 🙂

Before we get to those questions and come back to this idea of congruence, let’s review some ideas on administering the Color Code Personality Assessment.

Assuming that you have your job candidates take the Color Code Personality Assessment prior to the interview process, I would invite them to do so while following these instructions:
Let them know that you are not looking for a certain personality type to fill the job and that you believe there is no version of the outcome that would prevent them from being hired.

Tell them that when they take the assessment, they should answer the questions based on what they were like as a CHILD – not based on what they are like today.

Explain that this assessment is designed to help you know more about their communication style and why they do what they do.

Tell them that you know that there are questions they will have to answer with only “negative” behaviors as options. That’s okay, because this is only based on childhood behaviors, and you know that many of the responses will have changed over time. Assure them that you are not going to get hung up on specific responses to each question.

Hopefully, if setup properly, your candidates will feel inclined to answer the questions truthfully – which will work in their favor during the interview.

Fast-forward now, to the actual interview. You have no doubt reviewed each candidate’s resume, done your background checks, called referrals, and of course reviewed their Color Code Personality Assessment results. It’s time to begin the interview.

You have your questions that you know you will need to ask. In addition, you will be able to supplement those with some Color-Coded questions to help you verify whether each candidate is being truthful about who he/she really is – hence, the congruence piece.

We know that Reds, Blues, Whites, and Yellows are going to respond differently in certain situations. We know that there are certain kinds of reactions that would be more congruent with their style than others.

For example, you wouldn’t expect somebody who turns in a Yellow Color Code result to be boring, socially awkward, or have difficultly communicating during the interview process. Similarly, you wouldn’t expect a Blue to take a superficial approach to his/her work or otherwise show up as being flaky and/or uncommitted.

The more you know the Color Code, obviously, the better you will be at using this as a tool for checking for honesty and congruence in your applicants’ responses – thus helping you overcome the most difficult challenge of the interview process. That, of course, is being able to answer the question, “Is what I see now really what I’m going to get if I hire this person?”

That said, there are myriad questions you might ask. Here are just a few examples:

With your Red candidates, ask:

Let’s assume that you are the leader of a team, and that your team has a hard deadline approaching. You realize that you are falling farther and father behind being able to deliver on time because one of your team members isn’t pulling his weight. What do you do?

…Or, perhaps something like this:

Tell me about a time in your life where you failed. What happened? What was that like for you? What did you learn from that experience?

Think through how a Red would respond. In the first scenario, he/she (if truly a Red), would most likely approach things in a very logical way. They would identify the problem and solve it. Failure is not an option, and they will not make excuses for not delivering. If that person not doing his job can’t get on track and they need to be replaced, so be it. They wouldn’t make it personal, though. It’s simply about performance.

In the second scenario, Reds rarely fail, and when they do, it is extremely daunting to them and their sense of self worth even. They feel it intensely. They hate it. A healthy Red will learn from the experience, get stronger and move forward with a new sense of resolve, but they won’t dismiss it as a small thing.

Do you get the idea?

If the candidate either scenario responds differently from what you would expect from a Red, that should raise a little… well “red” flag in your mind, and you’ll want to ask additional questions.

With Blue candidates, you might ask a question like:

What if your boss told you that she needs a little project done very quickly, and that it’s just a formality anyway and that nobody really cares about it (but it has to be done). She doesn’t want you to spend a lot of time on it – rather, just “throw something together and call it good”. How would you respond to that?

(Most Blues would never feel good about agreeing to something like that. If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right, and they will take it home and work on it after hours if needs be, but if their name is on it, it will be done correctly!)

With a White candidate, you could ask something like:

Let’s say you were working for somebody who lost her temper easily. She was generally effective at producing desirable results, but was highly charged emotionally and yelled at people when things didn’t go her way. How would you deal with that scenario?

(Whites typically don’t like conflict at all and would feel extremely uncomfortable in that kind of a situation. Even if the candidate had never experienced run-ins with this boss, he/she would not want to work for her and would probably seek an opportunity elsewhere. With most Whites, they would not necessarily confront, or go to battle with this person, however.)

With a Yellow candidate, you could ask something like:

Let’s say you were on a team with an important sales quota approaching. If the team doesn’t hit the sales goal, people will likely lose their jobs. As the deadline gets closer, and the group is lagging behind the expected pace, fear creeps in and people start to panic. How would you react?

(Yellows tend to stay very positive and have a way of encouraging others to be positive as well. They also believe that things will work out and that they can find a solution. Most Yellows would try to encourage the team and try to add some hope as opposed to getting negative as well. Look for humor, creativity, and light-hardheartedness in their reply as they don’t tend to get overly serious about things).
And really, you could ask any of these questions, or several others to any of the Colors and expect to see a different type of response. Remember, what you are looking for is congruence. Are they reacting the way that a Red, Blue, White, or Yellow would typically react? If not, is there a reason for that? Have they learned to take a different approach, for example, and does their answer seem to “check out” in your mind.

This might take a little practice, of course, but hopefully it sets you off in the right direction and helps bring a new kind of filter to your hiring process.

Good luck, Lori, and please let us know if we can be of further assistance!

Very best of living,

Jeremy Daniel
Training Director
Color Code


JeremyDanielJeremy Daniel (Core Color: Yellow) has been working with the Color Code since 1998 in various capacities from training in the field personally with Dr. Taylor Hartman to designing customized corporate solutions and new training programs for various industries.  To ask about Jeremy’s training or speaking services, please email and inquiry to jeremy@colorcodetraining.com.