Are you asking the right questions?

Ask The Right Questions

Attracting, retaining and reattracting the right people for your workplace costs infinite dollars and endless hours. By changing up your interview questions you can start to discover what someone really thinks and how they might really behave . . .

Impression management is the term we use to describe putting our ‘best self’ forward – smiling amicably, laughing at others’ ridiculous jokes and agreeing with suboptimal decisions just to ‘get along’ and be liked. There is no greater example of this than the interview process as potential new recruits all put their best selves forward in this situation.

Candidates answer questions based on what they think the employer would like to hear and provide an amazing ‘highlights reel’ of themselves in a very sanitised version. So, what if you were armed with a list of questions which ensured candidates gave true insights into their preferred style of working – and for most they won’t realise the insights they are giving you.

At Shiift, we love our go-to list of behavioural questions which ends up providing us with real-time information such as –  are they really a team-player, ability to self-assess (leadership), do they prefer reactive environments or planned environments, are they adaptable or methodical (AQ), people-oriented or task-oriented, big picture or detail-oriented, leadership style, and capacity to build relationships.

Here’s just a few to consider:

  • Describe what chaos looks like to you? (insight into reactive or structured environment preference)
  • In three words how would others describe you when you’re stressed? (ability to self-assess a negative)
  • What qualities do you admire and seek out in leadership? Which of these do you need to strengthen? (ability to self-assess, personal priorities)
  • Do you have strong personal goals, or do you enjoy being fluid with outcomes and tend to change goals frequently? (structured or ‘go with the flow’)
  • What interests you about other people? (people-oriented or task-oriented)
  • Do you prefer tried and tested systems, or do you like to change things up? (big picture or hands-on; future vs historically focused)
  • Do you like to follow a methodical process or ‘wing’ it? (adaptable or methodical)
  • Do you like brain-storming environments or do you prefer to problem-solve alone? (Introvert vs Extrovert)
  • What are your thoughts on the following statement: “Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions”? (old style leadership)

The questions above don’t really have a negative answer but provide great insights into the behaviours and trait preferences of the candidate in front of you. Ensure you have identified the behavioural competencies you are seeking before interviewing your next candidates.

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