Dig for results
There are loads of resources available on the web about what to say, what not to say, etc.. So there is no need for us to reiterate the basics here. This brief article focuses on the importance of digging for evidence of results from the candidates we interview. I will explain why a candidate who focuses on results will make the biggest difference for their new employer.
Surely, any candidate worth taking the time to meet will be able to tell you something positive about themselves and their character. Such examples are “I’m a diligent worker,” “I’ve always been a team player.” Or one might even boldly proclaim, “I’m the right person for this job.” The candidate may even show a bit of evidence of their abilities by doing research on the company and coming prepared with a few questions about the job. These are all good qualities. Obviously, the self-confidence to speak highly of his or herself will be critical to pushing through change and improvements at their new company, and doing their homework before the interview is surely more than the effort some candidates show.
The challenge is that these traits do not always translate into consistent execution and positive results year-after-year. Isn’t that what we are looking for in a new team member? A high-performer who shows results not just in the first 90 days, but in every subsequent 90 day period?! The first step to determining if the candidate we are interviewing can produce results consistently is to find out what results they’re currently producing!
This approach of asking candidates for evidence and testimony of past performance is often called “Behavioral Interviewing.” It is focused on finding specific examples where the candidate drove success in the workplace. Oftentimes the right questions to elicit this evidence start with the phrase, “Tell me about a time. . .” or “Give me an example of. . .” Many websites will have excellent lists of these kinds of questions.
The challenge of this type of interviewing is that we tend not to want to “put people on the spot” by asking for specific examples. Or we forgive them too easily when they can’t come up with something. That’s unacceptable. If they are a truly high performer but aren’t “great on their feet” they cannot be excused. Consistently high performers know they will be asked to give examples. Certainly, they would expect to be held accountable for quantifying their performance with examples. Undoubtedly, they will be prepared. Ask them for examples. Let them think if necessary, or offer to let them follow up if they’re not sure. But do not let them off the hook!
Written by Mark J. Tyrrell
Mark J. Tyrrell is the Managing Partner & Founder of Right Resources and has helped clients recruit talented professionals across the U.S. for nearly 2 decades. He’s a big fan of connecting passionate and mission-oriented folks with teams that draw that passion out into the world to make it a better place. He lives outside Baltimore with his 1 wife, 1 daughter, 1 son, 1 dog, and 1 cat and he regularly dances like nobody’s watching—and sometimes like everybody’s watching.
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