First, why would you want to? PERFECT is over-rated when compared with adjectives like innovative, curious, resourceful, humble, emotionally mature, positive, diverse and a host of others. So, ask yourself when you have listed all of the “hard” skills necessary to qualify for a particular opportunity, what are the “soft” attributes that will allow someone to be successful in this position at your company with their colleagues right now.
Rank your top performers across the organization and list the “soft” attributes they have in common – these are probably success factors for leaders in your company. This is a good way to round out the job description to make certain those assisting with this search go beyond the hard skills in sourcing the best candidates for you to meet.
Now, that you have a group of candidates, how do you conduct an interview to determine, beyond the “hard” skills who possesses these success factors? Here are some tips from team builders that may be useful to you:
1. Ask “why should I hire you?” A great candidate will have given thought to this question and knows how they can add value and how to express it.
2. Give a couple of “what if” or “can you tell me about a time when…” scenarios to see how the candidate thinks and also to see if they are willing to share their experiences – good and bad.
3. Ask for a candidate to explain a time when they felt they had failed or not done their best and what they learned. A good candidate will appreciate that success is often built on the shoulders of failures and will be honest in their reply.
4. Ask them to give you a pitch on what your company does in the world. Great candidates will have done their research.
5. Leave time for them to ask you questions. Great candidates will ask smart questions.
Remember that the formal hiring process is not something most managers participate in more than a couple of times a year and for candidates, even less so. Hiring does not come naturally…do not leave your “gut” at the door…how you feel in your gut about a candidate does matter. Steve Jobs said…”Recruiting is hard. It’s just finding the needle in the haystack. You cannot know enough in a one-hour interview. So, in the end, it’s ultimately based on your gut”.
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