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Ways to Select Attitude Over Job Skills During Candidate Interviews

May 20th, 2012

When it comes to crafting an effective set of questions to ask your next interviewee, throw out those that do not provide you with a lot of information about a person’s attitude. Most of the interview questions that people use today contain a great deal of information related to an individual’s past or his or her training. While this is basic information, it does not warrant a question during an interview. That information is gathered from the application and narrowed down during the selection process.

Interview for attitude instead.

Attitude Is Not a Teachable Quality

It is possible to teach others how to act and how to perform a specific set of skills. However, the attitude a person has is far more important and it is not something you can teach within the workplace. That is why it is so important for you to hire with attitude in mind – you will not be able to change a person’s attitude if you bring them in, so they need to come in with the right attitude in the first place. There are various factors to consider when it comes to selecting the right attitude in a candidate.

  • Choose the type of attitude right for your business environment. Note that most business environments require a number of different types of attitude. Creative types are just as important as those who need no motivation.
  • A team player attitude is always important. Individuals brought into the business need to be able to work with existing team members as well as management. They should be willing to work with people that are different from them.

Aside from these factors, it is also important to ensure your interview questions allow for this attitude to present itself. It is important to ask questions that can provide a response about a person’s behavior or attitude, and not just fact-driven questions. Offer unique questions you’ve created that help to uncover the ideas and thoughts of others. Ask questions about difficult situations and how they’ve handled them. Investigate the ways that people interact in various planned scenarios. Ask them how they would handle various problems. A few specific questions might be:

  • Please give me an example of a time you were told to do something that was not correct. What did you do in that instance?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to learn how to do something without any training. What was that like?
  • Have you ever been caught between two employees about a disagreement? What did you do or not do?

By asking questions like these, you allow a person’s attitude and frame of mind to come clear. This can help you to determine if that person is right for the job. Leave out the skills and job history information from the interview. You can verify that yourself. You can train someone to do a task. What you cannot do is change their attitude and make them a team player.

Be sure to read our previous post concerning the choosing of candidates for each assignment of your company, for more information on this process:

Uncover a Candidate’s Ethical Standards from an Interview


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