From where I sit, attention to detail is a very important quality for someone who works with or for you.
How can you tell your applicant has it?
Well, first of all, it will show up before you interview them.
You’ll see it in the applicant’s résumé. Did he take the time to present a full picture of his skills and experience? Did he add some intangibles about himself that he feels will make him a good choice?
How your applicant approaches the résumé is your first sign.
The next one is: Believe it or not, are they on time for the interview?
A week doesn’t go by when someone who makes hiring decisions for their company tells me they cannot believe how many applicants come late for their interview.
That is hard to believe.
Well, that lack of attention to detail is likely to show up in their performance down the road.
Okay, so they’ve got a well presented résumé and they’re on time, how should we address this subject in the interview?
Here are a few questions you could ask:
This first one is terribly simple, but might gain you an insight or two:
Fred, tell me your understanding of the phrase: attention to detail. What does that mean to you?
In your previous positions, when you detected that something was not being properly handled due to certain details being overlooked, how did you handle this?
When you discovered your work wasn’t up to your personal standards, what did you learn was the cause of this? How did you deal with this?
If you felt a co-worker was seriously lacking in his attention to detail and that this was affecting your job performance, what steps did you take to remedy this?
Tell me about times your attention to detail had a very positive effect on the company.
I’m sure you can come up with some other questions or approaches on this.
It is an admirable quality when someone takes pride in ensuring all the pieces of a work action are considered and carried out.
Don’t overlook or underestimate it when you see it.
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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.