Tesla CEO Elon Musk had once famously said that it didn’t matter to him if people had college degrees or even went to high school. Musk had said that he looks for “exceptional ability” or the evidence of it rather than degrees.
As per a report by CNBC, Musk asks one question in every interview to find out if a person is telling the truth or not. The question he asks is, “Tell me about some of the most difficult problems you worked on and how you solved them.”
He explained that how asking this question helps. If the “people who really solved the problem know exactly how they solved it,” he said. If they know and have solved it then they can “describe the little details” and those who haven’t will not be able to do so.
The premise is simple: if anyone is making something up or telling a lie, then he/she will not be able to back it with conviction.
Musk in an interview had said that if people had made a significant accomplishment then “you want to make sure if there was some significant accomplishment, were they really responsible, or was someone else more responsible?” He further said that, “Usually, someone who really had to struggle with a problem, they really understand the details, and they don’t forget.”
Interestingly, a study published in the Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition in December 2020 pointed out how Musk’s method can be effective in spotting liars. The study suggested that if the interviewees “provide longer, more detailed statements about the event of interest, then the investigator will be better able to detect if they are telling the truth or lying.”