From the Ask Tom mailbag –
We find it difficult to interview for some of the soft skills. Our operation moves very fast. One of the things we need to know before hiring a candidate, is, can they keep up. What is their sense of urgency?
You can effectively interview for anything you can connect to a behavior. Soft skill, hard skill, attitude, character trait. Translate it into a behavior, then interview for the behavior. It sounds difficult, but not with Barry Shamis’ magic question, “How does a person with (this character trait) behave?” Then interview for this behavior.
You asked about sense of urgency. How does a person with a sense of urgency behave? Then interview for that behavior.
- Show up early.
- Plan the project ahead of time.
- Inspect progress frequently.
- Always works on high priority elements.
Now interview for those behaviors.
- Tell me about a past project where time was of the essence?
- Tell about the specific need for speed on the project?
- What were the expectations on your personnel?
- What factors slowed the progress of the project?
- What did you do to expedite progress?
- How often did you meet with your personnel?
- Step me through your agenda in that meeting?
- What were the project priorities?
- How did those priorities change during the project?
- How did you communicate the change in priorities to the rest of the team?
The responses you get to these questions, though strictly about observable behavior, will give the interviewer a clear insight into the sense of urgency in the candidate.
Registration continues this week for our next online program Hiring Talent. For more information, follow this link – Hiring Talent.