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Will The True Applicant Please Stand Up?

posted on: 2012-06-17

It’s happened to the best of us. We’ve hired the person who we thought would be the best fit for the job only to find out that we hired a great applicant, not a great employee.

How To Test for The Best

Since the majority of us have had the experience of going on job interviews ourselves, we know what questions to anticipate. ‘Tell me about a time when you gave great customer service,’ and ‘tell me about a time when you overcame a customer’s objection’ are questions that an applicant may have ‘practiced’ how to answer.

Have the candidate rate their performance in their last job on a scale from 1-10. Ask them to elaborate on the number they give you. This is a more accurate depiction of how the person views their own skills.

If they tell you they are a six in one area, give them time to tell you why they think they are a six. ‘I feel I am an eight when it comes to serving customers, but I’m only a six because I feel I don’t handle customer objections very well.’

Ask the candidate how they would go about turning that six into a seven. Based on their answers you will find out if the applicant is open to learning new techniques to help them become better at the job they are interviewing for.

By asking about their strengths you are demonstrating to the applicant that learning is always an on-going process. Let the candidate know that a perceived weakness is an opportunity in disguise to do better.

No One Is A Ten In Everything They Do

Those applicants who tell you they are a ten are either pulling your leg or seriously consider themselves to be without flaws on the job. This will also tell you they are not open to constructive criticism or willing to learn anything new once in the position. A person who believes they have nothing left to learn has no place on any team.

Validate What You’re Told

When you check an applicant’s references ask the person to rate the candidate on the same 1-10 scale and see if their answers coincide with what the candidate told you. This will also give you insight into the candidate’s perception of their own work. We often judge ourselves harsher than what we deserve.

Using these methods may help steer you toward an applicant who acknowledges their weaknesses and is willing to learn to turn them into strengths. This can only benefit your business and your team.

As for those so-called 10s? They’ve got a lot to learn!


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