Theory of Hiring
Most business managers wouldn't consider going into a meeting
unprepared. Yet many interview job candidates without planning
ahead, hiring employees based on less-than-revealing interviews and
hoping the employee will "work out."
Most job failures can be prevented by looking beyond the resumes and
references and concentrating instead on identifying a candidate's
work habits. Eighty-five percent of all job failures have to do with
a lack of appropriate work habits, not technical skilss.
Most failed hiring decisions result from behavioral issues rather
than anything else, a candidate's ability to perform well in a
certain environment can best be gauged by delving into that person's
past work habits and behaviors.
It's not enough to ask candidates what they did during their
previous employment, but rather, how they did it.
These "behavior-based" questions place the interviewer in the role
of an analyst; this method causes candidates to reveal aspects of
their personalities obscured by other
interviewing techniques. Based on their answers, the interviewer
gets a history of the candidate's ability to work with others or
under pressure -- both key indicators of future success. One of the
techniques we should use is to get candidates to relate to us very
specific experiences in their work life that illustrate the skills
that we're looking for.
To be a good interviewer means that you need to be a good
communicator and a good listener, and you're not as effective an
interviewer if you ask questions that will elicit only yes or no
One example of a behavior-based question is asking the candidate to
relate an incident in which he or she had a disagreement with a
coworker. Rarely can job candidates outguess the interviewer when
you ask them those kinds of questions. Candidates become practiced
What works for one person might not necessarily work for another.
Interviewing is a little bit of science and a little bit of art.
The method of asking candidates open-ended questions is the most
effective way to acquire accurate and telling information. Asking
questions such as `what did you accomplish, allows you to look for