Ask a Different Question, Hire a Better Person
You are ready to hire and have several candidates chosen from the hundred of resumes you received. Sitting down with your list of questions, how do you determine which questions to ask and if you are going to get answers that illustrate real job experience versus the rote answers that have been asked over and over again? How do you ask the right questions and what are the right questions to ask?Consider, for example, if you’re hiring a Sales Manager, asking something like this: “Pretend I'm a sales rep who has missed quota three months in a row and I'm here for a one-on-one. What would you say during the meeting?” Only a candidate with real-world experience will be able to answer the question thoughtfully. Even a really green candidate will be able to recall a conversation, a lesson learned from their time on the ground/on the floor and will tell you about their experience, what they learned, what they carried forward and how it will inform the work they do for you.The bottom line is when you ask the right questions, in the right way, you’ll hire people with more confidence that they have what it takes to succeed. In the long run, you’ll have significantly less turn over creating a strong team. Furthermore, the candidate will also know that they survived a tough interview and will be remarkably more confident walking in the door that they made the right decision to join your team.I cannot recommend strongly enough that you and your senior leadership team build a Competency Checklist for every role in your company. With that Competency Checklist, you can build a set of questions that will mine for those key competencies. A checklist and set of questions will insure that everybody knows exactly what’s expected of them at the interview and how what they will do in the role will contribute to the big-picture business. Just as importantly, after you hire them, if they fail in a task, there is a clear understanding of the why, when, and how they failed, so that failure isn't repeated due to lack of understanding. Ten Examples of Core CompetenciesDecision Making:Uses sound judgment to make good decisions based on information gathered and analyzed. Considers all pertinent facts and alternatives before deciding on the most appropriate action. Commits to decision.Teamwork:Interacts with people effectively. Able and willing to share and receive information. Co-operates within the group and across groups. Supports group decisions and puts group goals ahead of own goalsMotivation:Displays energy and enthusiasm in approaching the job. Commits to putting in additional effort. Maintains high level of productivity and self-direction.Problem Solving:Analyzes problem by gathering and organizing all relevant information. Identifies cause and effect relationships. Comes up with appropriate solutions.Adaptability:Adapts to changing work environments, work priorities and organizational needs. Able to effectively deal with change and diverse people.Planning and Organizing:Plans and organizes tasks and work responsibilities to achieve objectives. Sets priorities. Schedules activities. Allocates and uses resources properly.Communication:Expresses ideas effectively. Organizes and delivers information appropriately. Listens actively.Integrity:Shares complete and accurate information. Maintains confidentiality and meets own commitments. Adheres to organizational policies and procedures.Initiative:Takes action to influence events. Generates ideas for improvement, takes advantage of opportunities, suggests innovations. Does more than required.Stress Tolerance:Displays emotional resilience and the ability to withstand pressure on an on-going basis. Deals with difficult situations while maintaining performance. Seeks support from others when necessary and uses appropriate coping techniques.Using core competencies, creating a Competency Checklist and changing the way you interview will help you hire more effectively and save you time and money. Your leadership team will understand and be more powerful in their hiring practices. If you want to know more about how to ask powerful, intentional questions that address Core Competencies, please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com.