Toxic Tenures, Part 3

#3 Job Interviews

I am pretty good at reading and evaluating people but I have made some pretty bad recruitment decisions. People that just didn’t work out. So how did I miss that?

Well I fell for the age old issue of thinking the job interview was meant to see if I liked the person. I though it was about impressing them with how good a company we were. And building rapport. Stuff like that.

I know that many people today get coached on how to impress in a job interview which is why I created the Business Leadership Profile (BLP). The BLP is designed to give you a clear heads up on how that person will be three months after you’ve hired them – basically after the probationary period and honeymoon needs.

So here’s some questions you can ask in an interview that may just give you a heads up.

Ask questions about handling difficult situations and difficult people. Examples of such job interview questions:
a. “Can you tell me about a time when you had difficulty getting co-workers or employees to do what you have asked them to do? Tell me exactly how you handled them to get them to cooperate?”

b. Everyone experiences friction or conflict with customers, suppliers, co-workers or employees. Tell me about a specific experience in which you needed to work with someone with whom you had friction or a conflict.”

“Tell me another.”

After asking each question, tune into any boasting about implied or real threats, intimidating, anger or ridiculing other employees.

If the tone sounds disparaging or tetchy, there’s a clue.

A red flag is if they say they get along with everyone or they manage people before it gets to that level or they have never had such an issues but there’s an air of over-confidence smugness around the comment.

Another red flag is if the story is way to detailed bordering on a theoretical lecture; or way too brief. If the applicant flips the question back at you and says, “Are you having issues handling your staff?” keep digging.

The dead giveaway is if you start to feel stupid or inferior.

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