Digging Deep To Find the Best
Traditional interview questions tend to focus on a candidate’s background and experience, followed by the open-ended “Tell me about yourself” query. As a result, candidates often have rehearsed answers that may sound good on the surface but often belie faults in their qualifications or character. “It’s always useful to ask open-ended questions that get the candidate talking and revealing her work style, goals and ambitions,” says Morgan. “Always encourage the candidate to ask questions as well—these can be very telling.”
Feldman treats interviews as a “first date,” and encourages candidates to talk about themselves. “They open up and let their guards down,” he says. “Their answers flow more openly, honestly and they speak with candor.”
Ruck uses a similar tactic. He doesn’t use a set list of questions or scenarios. Rather, he tries different topics until he finds one that helps the candidate open up. “Once the candidates feel comfortable, they’ll say some amazing things,” he says. Ruck looks for character attributes first and foremost, such as a candidate’s work ethic, humility, integrity and respect for others, noting that while professional expertise is something that can be learned, “People either have these character traits inherently, or they don’t. You can’t train a person to have them.”
Dr. Reichel adds, “It’s hard to know at a sit-down interview whether or not a candidate is going to be a good fit.” In her practice, select applicants interview with the practice manager, and those who pass muster are invited back for a half-day working interview. Dr. Reichel’s staff is polled about each candidate after the working interview, and each new employee is given a 30-day trial period once hired to assure she possesses the right qualities to succeed in the position.
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