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Celebrating 50 years of Building High Performance Corporate Teams - 1971 to 2021

Hiring doesn’t have to be an uncertain process!

You may recall that I promised to help you answer the following 6 questions in 2012:

  1. Who am I REALLY looking for?
  2. Where am I going to find him/her?
  3. How am I going to evaluate him/her?
  4. How am I actually going to hire him/her?
  5. How am I going to successfully “on-board” him/her?
  6. How am I going to retain him/her?

Last month we started looking at Question 3, covering the theory of behavioural interviewing. Now we are focusing on the practical question:

How can I quantify my “gut feel”?

This is the real secret to interviewing. In order to move beyond “gut feel”, you need a system to evaluate your candidates rigorously, impartially, quantitatively, and uniformly.


Before you start interviewing candidates you need to do 4 things:

  1. Identify the top 5 traits you are looking for.
  2. Give each trait a relative weighting, recognizing that some will be more important than others.
  3. Develop one behavioural interview question for each trait (e.g. “Describe a time when you led a significant change in your organization”.
  4. Build a 1 to 5 point scoring grid for each question – i.e. what does “terrible”, average” and “outstanding” actually look like for each trait?


Now you are ready to “go live” with your selected candidates, using the following approach:

  1. Use the same set of questions for each candidate.
  2. Probe their answers to each question based on the STAR technique (What was the Situation? What was their Task? What did they do (Action)? What was the Result?)
  3. Listen to their answers to determine recency, significance, consistency, and success.
  4. Score each candidate’s answers using the 1 to 5 scale, multiplied by the weighting factor.
  5. Add up your weighted scores for the five top traits after each interview, to get a Total Score for each candidate.

And Presto – “gut feel” is replaced by a numeric score!