Recently I had the interesting task of helping out at work with interviewing candidates for the position of "QE Manager", in other words my potentially future manager.

When I worked at UIQ Technology I had a manager that was a huge inspiration for me as a tester.
And at times me and a couple of other test leads at the department helped out in recruiting persons who would be working with testing (testers, test leads, test developers etc).
That manager (Herman Afzelius) taught me many tips and tricks when it comes to interviewing, one of those is something I use still today in order to evaluate the aptitude in a test person.
Somewhere in the interview I ask them this question:

"Name one person you admire within the test industry."

It might surprise you that I have had candidates, not only testers but test leads and test managers, who can not produce one single name of a person they are inspired by in the test industry.
And it's not because they think themselves better than everyone else, it's because they simply don't know about a single person out there.

The reason I ask this is because I want to know how interested they are in testing, and if they take their own career and knowledge on testing seriously.
Granted knowing or not knowing someone in the test industry is not a fool proof litmus test, but it gives me indications of where I want to take the interview next.

Depending on how the candidate answers I have a few other questions in order to dig out more of the persons attitude towards testing:

"Do you attend test events/conferences, and if so why?"
"Do you read any blogs on software testing, and if so which ones?"
"Which was the latest book on software testing that you read?"

Again it is surprising how many candidates that actually don't read any books or blogs, never have been to a test event, and who just doesn't have a lot of interest in software testing.

If a person hasn't read a book in ages, or if the person don't know anyone in the test industry, then that is a indicator to me that the person might not be suitable for a position in testing.
On the other hand, there are testers out there that have a natural talent, interest for testing, and which are really good at it, but who don't do any of the above activities.
So it is important for me to always follow up with lots of other open-ended questions as well.

Here is an example of a mind map that I use when interviewing for the position of QE Manager, some of the questions are essential, others can be skipped depending on the candidates answer.
Some of the questions are tricky ones where I don't want a specific answer, for instance when asking "How do you calculate the ROI of test automation?", I would like to hear "You don't..."

Feel free to be inspired and steal straight from it the next time you interview for a test position.