“You used the word reasonably several times, reasonably analytical, reasonably organized. In hiring, what do you mean reasonably?” Marlena asked.
“Most people have a reasonable range of behaviors,” I replied. “Most roles require a reasonable range of behaviors.”
“But, don’t we all have behavioral tendencies, where we would likely behave more one way than another?”
“Behavioral tendencies compared to what?” I prodded.
“Given a circumstance. Given a circumstance, we would likely behave more one way than another?” she asked again.
“You are absolutely correct, given a circumstance. Often our behavior or our behavioral tendencies depend on the circumstance.” I stopped to describe a series of questions. “Tell me about a time when you worked on a project that required attention to detail? What was the project? How long was the project? What was your role on the project? What was special about that project that required attention to detail? What were the details that required your attention? How did you track (pay attention) to those details? How many details? What was unusual about the details that required your attention?”
“So, don’t we want someone who is detail oriented, who has a general behavioral tendency toward details?” Marlena wanted to know.
“No, I want someone who specifically pays attention to detail when the circumstance (context) requires it. That’s why I always want to know – What’s the work? It’s all about the work.”