Let's talk a little about the interview process

What's there to know, right? You just ask some questions, tell them about your company, and boom, you make a decision based on the most qualified applicant.

Wrong answer.

Think about the world we live in. Everyone is their own spin doctor, with their own personal brand image they want to project. Just imagine how that gets amplified in the interview process. Entire lives are airbrushed for optimal effect. Every semi-intelligent person comes into an interview with a prepared script. They already know what the interviewer is going to say, things like "So what are your strengths?" and "What are some of your weaknesses?"

Those are the questions everyone prepares for. What you have to do is get people to drop their fronts. So, how do you do that?

You have to get creative.

I have handfuls of these types of stories in my book, All In, but one thing I really like to do is ask people questions they haven't prepared for, questions that get them talking, questions like, "Tell me about your last supervisor." Most people aren't expecting that one! You can get some very revealing answers.

You may hear things like, "Oh, I don't think he's a very good guy."

And I'll ask, "Why?" Now you have them talking about somebody else and not themselves, which takes them off their talking points.

That's what you want. If you can get them speaking honestly and off the cuff, you'll learn much more about them. For instance, if you find out how a job applicant perceived his or her last boss, guess what? Odds are good that'll be the way they're going to perceive you when the job gets tough.

Here's why this is so important--and why this formula for interviewing will tell you everything you need to know about a candidate.

The truth is, you won't always be able to find the "perfect" person for a specific role. For example, at my current company, LendingOne, we were struggling to find and train inside sales folks that loved to do outbound sales. No matter how many different ways we approached the challenge, we just couldn't get the result we were looking for. So, opposed to trying to find someone with industry or even direct sales experience, we hired for the attitude and personality profile we thought we were looking for.

And we were right. We now have someone succeeding in the role we needed.

I'm a firm believer that if you've got the right attitude toward a job, you are trainable. Most job responsibilities are fairly straightforward, assuming you have the right training processes in place. But what's much harder is taking someone who might have relevant skills but the wrong attitude toward the role, and trying to get them to change who they inherently are as a person. This is why I advocate so heavily for getting creative in the interviewing process, and why my formula for coming up with questions to ask has everything to do with better understanding their personality. I don't want an interviewee to repeat what I've already gathered from their resume. I want to know what gets them fired up, or what they're really passionate about.

These are the things that will reveal if they have the right attitude for the role.

Published on: Apr 30, 2019
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