From the Ask Tom mailbag.
I think I know how to interview for technical knowledge, but how do I interview for soft skills, that are difficult to pin down. Specifically, how well will the candidate fit with our existing team? Does the candidate share our organizational values? Will the candidate bring the right attitude?
These ideas are actually good ideas, noble characteristics to find in a candidate. Here is the rub. How can the hiring manager, who is not a psychologist, evaluate the candidate on fit, values and attitude?
You have to get down to behaviors. You are not a psychologist, but you can spot positive behavior and negative behavior in the workplace. Observing and evaluating behavior is what managers do. Play to your strength. Interview for behaviors.
- Fit. How does a person who “fits” our organization behave?
- Values. How does a person with our values behave?
- Attitude. How does a person with a positive attitude behave?
Now, interview for those behaviors. Yes, fuzzy stuff can be important, a valuable part of the interview and the criteria for hiring.