Evaluating the Softer Skills of a Top Candidate

Document created by 1050210 on Nov 12, 2014
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Published Date: 04/14/2014

 

Reneé Watkins

By Reneé Watkins

 

When seeking top talent for a current job opening, the first criteria we most often use to identify the right candidates is a combination of education, experience and skill. These factors can be used, in part, to predict whether or not a candidate has the ability to be successful in the role for which they are being considered.

 

While these factors are very important, the long-term success of a candidate within your organization can depend more heavily on their softer skills, which tend to come across during the interview process.

 

With limited resources, stiff competition for talent and smaller amounts of time for assessing candidates, HR has to use their opportunities wisely to drill very quickly down to these softer skills.

 

The following interview questions can be used to provide you with a deeper insight into exactly what this candidate can bring to the company in addition to their education and experience:

 

  • What can you tell me about our company? Give me your analysis of our business.
    Look for the candidate’s initiative, ability, values and confidence.
  • Tell me about the first five things you would do if hired.
    Look for the candidate’s thought process, prioritization and execution.
  • Name five things you need to be successful in this role. Name three things you consider obstacles to that success.
    Look for the candidate’s expectations from the company and their ability to overcome obstacles.
  • Discuss a time you took a risk and failed versus a time you took a risk and succeeded.
    Look for the candidate’s willingness to take risks and ability to accept failure.
  • What was one of your proudest moments at work?
    Look for the candidate’s preferred work style (team player, solo contributor).
  • Where do you see yourself in two more career moves? How will this position help you get there?
    Look for the candidate’s long-term thinking, motivation and expectations.

 

To be a successful hire, candidates need to be a great corporate fit for your organization. You also want individuals who are thinking long-term with confidence in their own abilities to succeed within your company.

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