The Real Answer Comes From The Third Or Fourth Answer To The Question

We’ve all seen the heroic detective in the movies interrogate the lying criminal with deep questioning eventually getting them to admit the truth.  Psychologists have long recognized most “normal” people cannot effectively and consistently make-up details about past events on the fly and eventually tell the truth (psychotics are capable of imagining and recounting untrue facts while believing them).

You should use a similar approach to your interview questioning.  When preparing to interview your candidates (yes, you do need to do some pre-work if you expect a productive interview), plan three or four follow up questions to the initial question.

For example, while probing a candidate’s personal accountability you might plan to ask, “Tell me about a time when it was necessary to admit to others that you had made a mistake.”  Next follow up with questions like:

  • “Who was involved in the situation?”
  • “What did your boss do afterwards?”
  • “How long was it before you admitted the mistake?”
  • “What subsequent mistakes have you made and how have you handled them?”

Answering a series of questions becomes harder with each question and you’ll likely gain greater insights into the candidate with the follow-up questions.

Empower your hiring managers to dig deeper in their questioning and you’ll make more successful hires.

Explore posts in the same categories: Leadership, Selection

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