Likability is important, but is not the sole attribute to base a hiring decision.

Did you know that over 40% of new executive hires do not survive their first year on the job?

So, how do you interview?

Most people interview candidates poorly, which makes sense, considering it’s not something we do every day. To make matters worse, it is human nature to make a decision about candidates in the first 5 seconds.

There’s no time to consider carefully the candidates’ strengths, weaknesses, motivators, values, communication style, work ethic, management ability, and how they manage in different situations.

Ironically, you are at a significant disadvantage if you like a candidate immediately. When this happens, the tendency is for people to find reasons to move forward with a candidate and go into “sell” mode rather than really dig in to find out who is sitting across the table from you.

I am not saying that you shouldn’t hire people you like.  Likability is important, but it is not the sole attribute on which to base a hiring decision.  You need to  find out really who it is that you are interviewing, to ask the kinds of questions that help identify the person’s strengths.

Here are some important interview questions to ask everyone:

  • Tell me about a difficult person you had to work with; how did you manage it; what did you do, what were the results?
  • Describe how you organize and motivate people who work for you.
  • Tell me about a time where you had to come up with a creative solution to solve big issues.
  • Do you feel lucky?

The point is simple: Don’t hire someone you simply like.  While liking the person is a plus, you need to be sure that this person has similar values, can create a vision and drive results.  It is also important to find out how they work with other people.

Our firm vets candidates, finds their strengths and calibrates their ability to perform. We spend a significant portion of time up front with our clients.  We make sure we understand our clients’ business objectives but also their company culture and the types of people who thrive in their environment.  With that information we create a position description to help filter candidates.