THE 3 MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO ASSESS IN AN INTERVIEW
As a recruitment consultancy we spend a lot of our time interviewing and therefore selecting candidates to send to our clients for often niche roles that can be difficult to fill. This is one of our unique value propositions to our clients. We have dedicated teams of recruitment professionals whose single focus is the identification and acquisition of the best people in the market. Once we have sourced and screened these individuals we send their CV together with our profile summary to our client. It is at this stage that the client applies their usually considerable knowledge and “know how” to the interview process to assess prospective applicants.
When it comes to a hiring process for management and more senior level hires I have often wondered what generally are the most important criteria and requirements that our clients assess the candidates by. Well here is a list of some of them:
• Previous Management Experience
• Great Communication Skills
• Ability to Multitask
• Attention to Detail
• Ability to Prioritise
• Good Presentation Skills
Do they sound familiar? Of course companies also want people who have the technical skills and expertise to match the requirements of the role. While the previously aforementioned list is fine and relevant I would argue respectfully that there are a number of other “big ticket” items that also need to be taken into consideration.
They include the following:
2. Focus – Clarity through Goals
3. Psychological Capital
The single greatest asset that any human being has at their disposal is their energy levels. If you think back through history and we look at some of the great leaders and entrepreneurs most of them had one thing in common. Generally the best of them had stunning levels of energy. If I were to name a few off the top of my head they would include Mahatmi Gandhi, Napoleon Bonaparte, Daniel O’Connell and Richard Branson more recently.
Our energy levels dictate the volume and quality of work that we can do. The really great leaders normally wake up at 5/6.00am in the morning and start their day early. They also look after their physical conditioning and fitness. They do this by working out at least four times a week. This should take the form of working on their aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility.
Linked to their physical conditioning is their diet. They realise that 5 or 6 small meals a day is a better way of keeping your body fuelled throughout the day. Obviously eat fresh where they can by eating plenty of vegetables and fruit. They also understand the importance of keeping their body hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
2. Focus – Clarity through Goals
Energy levels and goals are inextricably linked. Why? Well because people who have a sense of clarity and direction about where they want to go with their personal and professional life normally have higher energy. They are enthusiastic, excited and passionate about the prospect of achieving and doing more in their lives. This gives them their passion and lust for life. They literally wake up in the morning jumping out of bed. They can’t wait to get in to work! People who have this level of focus in their life are normally hard wired to succeed. They do this normally through goal setting.
There is an ancient Chinese proverb that says that no wind is favourable if you don’t already know to which port you are sailing to? If you need any more evidence on the power of clarity and goal setting, probably the most famous basketball player that ever lived – Michael Jordan wrote the following excerpt about goal setting in his book I Can’t Accept Not Trying – Michael Jordan on the Pursuit of Excellence:
“I approach everything step by step….I had always set short-term goals. As I look back, each one of the steps or successes led to the next one. When I got cut from the varsity team as a sophomore in high school, I learned something. I knew I never wanted to feel that bad again….So I set a goal of becoming a starter on the varsity. That’s what I focused on all summer. When I worked on my game, that’s what I thought about. When it happened, I set another goal, a reasonable, manageable goal that I could realistically achieve if I worked hard enough….I guess I approached it with the end in mind. I knew exactly where I wanted to go, and I focused on getting there. As I reached those goals, they built on one another. I gained a little confidence every time I came through. “
3. Psychological Capital
More and more research is being conducted into the area of Psychological Capital. In this respect Organisational Psychologists have been looking at research to establish what is it in a person’s “make up” that helps them excel in the work place?
Well I am not sure that it is going to come as a huge surprise to people but one of the characteristics that people absolutely benefit from is having a positive or optimistic outlook on life. The more optimistic that someone is the more likely they are to see and therefore achieve a positive outcome with projects that they are working on. They are also able to positively influence other people around them.
These traits and characteristics are in a way more fundamental to assessing the success or failure of a prospective candidate at interview. In essence they are a better predictor of someone’s likely future behaviours and therefore success or failure in a role. Unfortunately we find that in a lot of instances these qualities are not specified, measured or assessed at interview by our clients.
What are your thoughts on these three traits (energy, focus and psychological capital) and how they may impact on a candidate’s performance in a role?
* Images courtesy of www.unchainedfitness.com , www.danbailey.net , www.thepositivemindblog.com