The interview is when you meet the candidate for the first time.
The candidate should be interviewing you as well to make sure they’ll fit in. Be sure to provide realistic expectations of the WHAT they do on the job (the activities and tasks), but also HOW they are expected to do the job.
Behavioral interviewing is a style of interviewing that asks candidates about specific situations and how they have reacted or would react.
For example, a typical question could be…
“Tell me about a time when you were managing a difficult customer situation. Or working with an angry or upset customer. What was the situation? How did you respond? How did the customer respond? And what was the outcome?”
As the interviewer, you listen for key words, actions, and behaviors that match up with the way YOU want an upset situation to be handled. Behavioral interviewing works much better than standard closed-ended questions because you receive accurate insights through the candidate’s answers.
If you aren’t using Behavioral Interviewing – you will. It will change the way you interview and will highly increase the quality of your candidates! We guarantee!
Testing for Passion
Behavioral interviewing provides a better understanding of how someone will behave in various situations. But, it doesn’t measure how enthusiastic they may be for the job in the short and long term. How passionate will they be in doing the job?
Here are two examples of companies that test for passion as part of their interview process.
The Container Store
The Container Store (@ContainerStore) is a Dallas-based retailer of storage and organization items including boxes, bins, shelving and anything else needed to keep your stuff tidy. The business has been around since 1978 and is routinely ranked by Fortune magazine as one of the best companies to work for in America.
It’s people, more than its products, separate the Container Store from its competitors. Kip Tindell, CEO and co-founder of the Container Store, sums up the importance of hiring the best people by saying…
“The best thing you can do for your employees is to surround them with people who are fantastic.”
Perhaps the most interesting thing the Container Store does to hire great people happens during the job interview process. Usually, a store manager brings in a small group of employee candidates and conducts a group interview in the middle of the store during the middle of the day. At some point in the interview, the manager will ask the candidates to go out in the store, find a product they love, and then tell the other candidates why they love that product.
Upon hearing and seeing the potential employees tell stories about the products, the Container Store manager can quickly tell who is a cultural fit because of the passion and enthusiasm they display. Obviously, the passionate and enthusiastic people stand a greater chance of getting hired on as a Container Store employee.
Nearly every prospective Starbucks store employee is asked that question during their job interview with a store manager. If this candidate politely turns down the cup of coffee, the Starbucks store manager makes a little mark in the corner of the job application. It’s now up to the candidate to show an abundance of charisma and competence to compensate for turning down a cup of coffee.
By saying “no” to the cup of coffee, the Starbucks store manager starts to believe this person doesn’t like coffee. And, they wouldn’t be a good brand ambassador behind the counter when a customer asks for a coffee recommendation.
Both of these job interview best practices are simple tests to determine how much passion a potential employee has. It’s easy to hire warm bodies to fill an open employee position. It’s harder to hire somebodies, not warm bodies, to join your team.
Do not underestimate the importance of hiring “passionate” employees. Follow the examples of The Container Store and Starbucks by creating a “passion test” when hiring new employees.