When it comes to recruiting and hiring people do you find the process a bit of a lottery? Do you feel like it is difficult, if not nearly impossible, to tell in advance whether a candidate is going to turn into a high performer?
While I was reading the book, I came across some “tricks” (for lack of a better term) that Murphy says recruiters often use during the interview process. Several of them were new to me, and so I wondered, just how common and they are? Read through the list and you can let me know.
1) The awkward pause just to get the candidate talking
Murphy says people in stressful situations, like job interviews, find silence uncomfortable. And to quell that discomfort, most of the time a candidate will start taking. Or rambling. He says those silences are worth suffering through because they can be quite revealing about a candidate.
2) Asking specific questions about a candidate’s last boss, including spelling their name, to get them into truth telling mode
Call this a little dose of truth serum. In Murphy’s book, he tells recruiters to ask the candidate for the spelling of their former supervisor’s name at the beginning of the interview. He says this will alert the candidate that they should be truthful about their responses from that point forward, in the assumption the former boss will be contacted for verification.
Ask the candidate for the spelling of their former supervisor’s name at the beginning of the interview. This will alert the candidate that they should be truthful about their responses from that point forward, in the assumption the former boss will be contacted for verification.
He says this tactic can work even if you never have any intention of actually contacting the supervisor.
3) Leave out parts of questions to see how a candidate will finish answering
When trying to determine if a candidate is a problem solver, do you ever ask them in an interview to describe a time when they faced a difficult situation, but don’t specifically actually inquire what they did to try to fix it?
Apparently the way a candidate answers this partial question says a lot about their problem solving abilities. I’m not totally clear about this one.
4) Rating a candidate on their use of pronouns
Murphy says the pronoun candidates use when answering interview questions does matter. Here’s what he says it says about them:
First person (I, me and we): According to Murphy’s research, high performers answer in the first person 60% more than low performers
Second person (you, your): Low performers answer in the second person 400% more often than high performers.
Third person (he, she, they): Low performers are 90% more likely to answer in the third person than high performers.
5) Rating a candidate on their use of adverbs
Why this one? Murphy says low performers use 40% more adverbs (words such as yesterday, now, soon, and suddenly that modify a verb) than high performers, and are 90% more likely to answer with negative emotions than higher performers.
6) Rating a candidate on their verb tense
High performers reportedly answer more frequently in the past tense.
Past tense: Past tense answers are used 40% more often from high performers than low ones.
Present tense: Low performers use the present tense 120% more often than high performers.
Future tense: Low performers are also 70% more likely to use future tense when answering questions than high performers.
7) Rate a candidate on their active voice
The passive voice isn’t necessarily “wrong,” but it is often a poor way to present thoughts. It’s vague and wordy and more difficult to understand than active voice.
Rate a candidate on how often they say always and never
Does your candidate make sweeping generalizations? Oversimplify? “You’ll never succeed doing that.” “I was always the one with the best ideas.” “My old boss never gave me any feedback.” And so on. These could reveal insecurities on the part of the candidate.
Some of these things I had heard of, others were completely new to me. What about you? Do you employ any of these things in your interviews and evaluations? Do you use all of them? None of them? Why? Why not? Do they resonate at all? We’d love to hear from you.