Wouldn't “What do you like to do?” be a great question for you the job applicant to hear from an interviewer? It would signal to the job seeker that this place, the one you are considering spending eight to ten hours a day for 40-50 weeks out of the year actually cares about you.
Being asked, “What do you like to do?” would signal that they understand that if you enjoy doing the majority of tasks your job requires, you will most likely be successful at those tasks. When you take on a new position, your past experiences become interwoven with your new duties.
For example, you probably do about five to ten different types of main tasks related to your job - which you either like or dislike - such as initiating projects, organizing information, doing precision-type tasks, teaching others, presenting to groups, etc.
In addition, there are probably about five to ten different organization criteria related to your job preferences such as the desire for autonomy, the desire for authority, the tendency to be innovative, the willingness to lead others and the motivation related to challenges.
There are also likely to be at least five to ten areas of interpersonal skills that are required for your job. For example, you may need to effectively enforce rules, deal with conflicts, receive corrective feedback, communicate directly and respectfully, be warm and empathetic, be outgoing or be cheerful. If you lacked any of these things, it could easily affect your performance.
If you lacked certain interests related to your job, such as an interest in people, computers, or science, it is unlikely that you will be fully engaged with your work. If you had a strong aversion to any one of numerous different things in your work environment such as excessive noise, working closely in teams or sitting for long periods, your performance could be affected.
Consider also, these issues are different for different jobs. It should be pretty obvious from this reflection that behavioral assessments need to measure many different factors and the results need to be job-specific with an overall score.
There are at least thirty different factors related to success for each job and each job type has a different set of factors. How can we imagine that only a few personality factors can predict behavior of a wide range of jobs? To measure behavior related to a wide variety of jobs, you need to measure at least one hundred factors and preferably one hundred fifty.
From this base, the thirty+/- job-specific factors can be tabulated to effectively predict success and offer optimum growth and coaching opportunities.
By now you might be thinking this is pretty complicated. That the simple question of "What do you like to do?" has opened up a whole slew of questions. You are right! It is too complicated to effectively do without a comprehensive and strategic behavioral assessment.
Fortunately, behavioral and personality assessments such as the Harrison are available that have done performance research and formulated sets of factors for specific jobs. You only need to review the suggested factors for your job to confirm that it fits the job requirements. In addition, if you have thirty or more people in the same job, you can even request the test developer to research the key factors for your specific job. Computer technology makes this straightforward.
If you are an employer, the Harrison Assessment can help you ask and get good answers to the question, “What do you like to do?”. If you are a job seeker, find the employer who is using the Harrison Assessment to listen to you. That will help you match the task at hand with success.