“So, how can I find out if a candidate will follow our standard operating procedures or if they will experiment using their own methods, wasting our time and resources to find out we were right in the first place?” Melinda asked. “What questions do you ask?”
“What are my two favorite questions?” I asked.
Melinda didn’t have to think on that one. “Tell me about a time when? And, step me through?”
“Okay, so using those two questions, create a series that helps me understand how the candidate will respond when they disagree with work instructions,” I prompted.
Melinda took a deep breath, slowly exhaled, thinking.
- Tell me about a time when you disagreed with the way you were supposed to complete a task assignment?
- What was the project, or what was the task?
- Step me through the specific method you were told to follow?
- In that method, what did you disagree with?
- What did you do?
- Step me through your alternate method?
- Why did you think it was better?
- Who did you talk to about it?
- What questions did you have?
- What was the outcome?
“Good questions,” I nodded. “And in their responses, what would you be listening for?”
“First, I would want to find out if they had a real awareness of their work instructions,” Melinda started. “Did the candidate listen to the work instructions they were given? Next, I want to find out the line of thinking about the work instructions. I want to see how respectful they were of their manager or if they simply flew off the handle and did things their way. I want to see how they responded, if it was helpful or if it was counterproductive.”