A job candidate can look great on paper and still not be the right fit for your organisation. So, when you’re looking for new personnel for your company, it’s essential that your interview process is spot on.
One man who understands the importance of this issue is communications expert Richard Mullender. As a hostage negotiator, he’s a specialist when it comes to asking questions and interpreting the answers. During a recent skills-sharing event for businesspeople hosted by Appco UK, he highlighted one key question that can provide companies with important insights into candidates.
Discovering how a candidate works
Addressing the audience at the Appco workshop, Richard suggested it is a good idea to ask applicants the following query during interviews: “Tell me about your best boss/mentor and why you liked working or contracting for them?” According to the expert, the answer to this one simple question can tell you a lot about how an individual works and what they would need from you as a leader.
According to Richard, if the candidate responds by saying that their favourite boss was always there when they needed them, this suggests that they thrive when they have a supportive leader. If they say their best manager left them to get on with things, this indicates that they have a preference for taking responsibility and being independent. Meanwhile, if the candidate describes their preferred boss as being inclusive and respecting everyone’s opinions, this reveals that they like to be treated as an equal.
Be clear in your objectives
Richard went on to note that in order to use this information to inform your selection process, you have to be clear about what your recruitment objectives are. He said that as well as having a good idea of the sort of person you are looking for, you have to know what you are willing to offer them. For example, if you like to keep a close eye on your team, it’s probably not a good idea to recruit someone who wants to be independent.
He added that it’s vital you are honest with yourself when you are determining this, suggesting it may help to ask your current workers or contractors why they like working with you. Their answers should give you insights into the sort of leader or mentor you are.
During the event hosted by Appco Group, Richard also spoke more broadly about the different ways in which people listen and how they can build trust and improve their connections with others by genuinely paying attention to what they are saying.