How Do They Define Success?

Successful Employee

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With different ways of defining success, let’s look at a few of the obvious ones:

1) When you achieve what you want or intend.

2) When someone achieves a high position in their job, on a course, in a sport, in society etc.

3) When a person or business makes a lot of money.

Finding out how your applicant defines success is likely to give you some good insights into their personality and into their drive.

But let’s break this down a bit. Here are some questions you could ask:

1) How do you define success for yourself in the business world?

2) How would you define success for yourself with our company, say in the next year?

3) How about in the next five years?

As you well know, your applicant might not be considering your company for five years. But it can’t hurt to ask.

Success for some is having a job and a pay check. Enough money to pay the bills.

Success for some is making an adequate income AND having a great work environment. Friends, companions, caring about others and others caring about us.

Some equate success with status. A high position in a company, an impressive sounding title.

It’s going to be different from applicant to applicant, but if you can get in there and get some honest answers here, you’ll learn a great deal about your prospective staff.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


Can They “Sift” Through Data?

employee thinking

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An enormous amount of data and information can overwhelm the work environment.

How does one deal with this information overload?

Well, the first and most important skill is understanding “degrees of importance.”

Clearly some things are more important than others. From a management perspective and from an employee perspective.

Filing the paperwork on the last sale is important but as important as the next customer standing there waiting to pay?

If a customer needs help but it’s clearly not in one’s job description to assist this customer, do we hope someone else will attend to the customer? Or do we stop, find out what’s needed and do what we can to help?

If a co-worker is complaining about a mutual supervisor, do we join in or do we insist the co-worker get with the supervisor to sort it out?

Importances.

And degrees of importance.

The last example about encountering a complaining co-worker may not sound like a point of importances, but it is. How important is it to have a harmonious work environment? How important is it to resolve upsets or issues with the correct individual? Or is it not that important because workplace complaints are just a part of workplace life, so no big deal.

Importances.

Degrees of importance.

So how do we determine this with the applicant?

One suggest would be to make a list of different situations your staff run into that require them to “sift through” data in order to make decisions.

You could present some of these hypothetical situations to the applicant and ask how they would deal with them OR you could ask the applicant how they handled these types of situations in the past.

You can start out with situations with obvious ideal outcomes and then present some that are not so obvious.

How your applicant “sifts” through data to make decisions is a good thing to know before making your hiring decision.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


Don’t Write Them Off So Quickly

Hiring interview

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Sometimes people rub us the wrong way in an interview.

And that’s enough for some of us to move on to the next candidate.

An exaggeration on the résumé may be grounds for some of us to pass on that candidate.

I’m not here to challenge your intuition or judgement.

If you don’t feel comfortable with someone and you want to keep looking, that’s 100% your prerogative. If you feel someone has fudged their résumé and this is simply unacceptable to you, again, you should do what you think is right.

(the word fudge means: to change facts to deceive people)

But I would ask you to consider this: sometimes what rubs us the wrong way is on our end of things and that individual could end up being a real asset for us.

And, when it comes to embellishing or exaggerating on the résumé, you probably know this is done fairly often. This does not make it right. Your integrity is important and making decisions one way or the other based on how honest an applicant is — well, this is also important.

Human beings are interesting creatures. We try to do the right thing and we sometimes find ourselves justifying the times we know we didn’t do the right thing.

“Well, I’ll just say on my résumé that I worked at Acme Enterprises a couple of months longer than I actually did. Then I can say it’s 3 years instead of 2 years and change. I think that’s okay, because if I’m hired in this new job, I’m going to do a great job here.”

Again, I’m not advising you to lower your standards.

If you find discrepancies, ask about them.

If someone rubs you the wrong way, bring that up directly and discuss it with the individual.

And of course, there are degrees in all things.

An outright lie on the résumé is different than an embellishment.

If a person rubs you the wrong way because they came into the interview wearing a tee shirt, torn jeans and slurs their words, well, that’s not so good.

I’m using some extremes here, but I’m sure you get the point. Humans aren’t perfect — none of us are — and sometimes it’s a good idea to keep that in mind when making hiring decisions.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


When The Tables Are Turned

hiring interview

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The ideal hiring interview will include a time when the applicant can ask you questions.

I suggest giving a wide berth to the applicant here. Let him ask away.

Here are some questions you might get:

Pay questions: How much? Is there overtime pay? How soon before a raise? Can I do special projects to earn more?

Time questions: What’s the schedule? Am I required to put in extra time? Can I put in extra time? How about weekends?

Travel questions: Am I expected to travel? Where would I be going? How long would I be away from home?

Culture questions: How would you describe the company culture? Should I know anything in particular about fitting in here?

Other company questions: How long have you been in business? What are the company’s future plans? Is there some way I can find out about the financial health of the company?

And, of course, there are more.

The kind of questions you are asked will provide some interesting insights into your applicant.

And it’s probably a good idea that you consider the questions you could be asked and have a well thought out answer ready.

All in all, letting the applicant turn the tables is a helpful and revealing part of the hiring interview. For both parties.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


Can They Prioritize?

Priorities

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I’m sure you know the meaning of prioritize, but I do like providing definitions.

“to put several things, problems, etc. in order of importance, so that you can deal with the most important ones first”

To be able to put things or problems in order of importance, one must know what their relative importances are.

Some employees will do what they are asked to do, what their manual says they should do and that’s that.

And that’s fine.

But that’s a baseline employee.

Bob has three tasks he needs to do. There’s only thirty minutes left in the work day. To do all three tasks is going to take an hour. What does he do?

He prioritizes.

He determines the order of importance of the three tasks and then takes care of them in that order.

What if the most important task will take up the entire thirty minutes and one of the other tasks is only a five minute task, but his supervisor urged him to get it done before he leaves?

What does Bob do?

Well, that’s part of prioritizing. He gets the five minute task done and then he pushes to get the thirty minute task done in twenty-five minutes, or he simply stays over five minutes to complete the task.

I realize this all sounds pretty simple, pretty straightforward. But we also know the ability to prioritize is not a strong suit for everyone.

The employee weak in this area will not do the five minute task and there likely will be some friction when he meets up with his supervisor the next day. Or this employee will do the five minute task, but leave the thirty minute task incomplete. This scenario may also see some friction the next day.

So, how can you determine if the person in front of you is good at prioritizing?

One way is to include this area of questioning when you speak to the applicant’s previous supervisors.

Another way is to compile a list of three, four of five tasks for the job in question and then ask the applicant to weigh them in order of importance.

You could have several of these lists put together.

It should not take a long time for the applicant to go through the tasks and give them an order of importance. If it does take awhile, not a great sign.

And your analysis of his sequence of importances will also be revealing.

An ability to prioritize is worth pursuing. Things will run smoother and be more productive.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


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