Hiring new employees has one of the greatest impacts on a small business. Typical interviews focus on qualifications and how well individuals present themselves. However, the most important quality is good character. Hiring decisions usually come down to intuition about the applicant’s character. Unfortunately, those who perform well in interviews don’t always have the best character.
Using direct questions make it difficult to expose true character. A dishonest person will answer these questions convincingly. Instead of direct questions. ask questions that do not have obvious right answers and will require the applicant to justify their answer. Consider the six following desirable attributes and sample questions to identify them.
Attribute 1: Honest or Dishonest?
A valuable attribute of good character is honesty. Employees who are honest always tell the truth and are fair with others; they do not lie, cheat or steal. To determine whether or not a job candidate is honest you could ask the following question. What are your feelings regarding chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcies? (You may need to explain that in chapter 7 bankruptcy the debtor doesn’t lose any assets and is not required to pay back the debt. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debts are required to be repaid.) If they are willing to take from their creditors, they will likely take from their employers.
Attribute 2: Responsible or Irresponsible?
A responsible person uses good judgment and accepts accountability for their behavior. In your interview offer the following scenario: A man attended a restaurant’s grand opening and stayed for more than three hours, drinking a cocktail. After leaving in his car, he crossed the center line and hit a motorcycle. The motorcycle rider sued the steakhouse and the car driver and won $60 Million. Who should be responsible for the settlement?
The ideal answer is the responsibility should be placed on the car driver. The goal for this scenario is to start a dialogue. If a candidate states that it is the restaurant’s fault, this person will likely be irresponsible.
Attribute 3: Charitable or Greedy?
Someone who is charitable cares about others. A good question would be: What volunteer work have you done in the last month? If a potential employee does not make time for others, they won’t make time for others at work.
Attribute 4: Industrious or Lazy?
Being industrious is more than being busy; it’s being persistent, energetic, and striving for perfection. Ask: What jobs did you have in high school and college? Those who worked in high school and college are likely to have developed good work ethic and are industrious.
Attribute 5: Thrifty or Wasteful?
A good question to identify thriftiness would be: If you received an unexpected $10,000 inheritance, what would you do with the money? An answer showing thriftiness would include paying debts, saving, or investing. A wasteful answer would include extravagant purchases with no consideration of debt or savings. If someone would spend their own money carelessly, they will also spend their employer’s money carelessly.
Attribute 6: Humble or Proud?
Ask the question: Who would you give credit to for your major work accomplishments?
Those who are proud will take all the credit for their accomplishments. The humble will recognize that others have helped them achieve success.
Identifying the attributes that define character can be a difficult task. A successful job interview must include answering question types that identify and reveal attributes that define good character. Becoming successful at conducting character driven interviews will have a positive impact on your small business by enabling you to identify good character and to hire the right people.