We’re all looking for that “magic bullet” that will tell us which applicants would be the perfect fit right at the beginning of the interview process. Unfortunately, there isn’t one. However, there are some easy-to-implement methods you can add to your interview process that can take you a step closer.
One of the best methods is to develop your own pre-qualification questionnaire. What’s nice about using a questionnaire is that, if well designed and you ask each candidate the same questions, you’ll have a legally defensible selection process while at the same time cutting down on turnover.
What Should I Include In It And Why Is It Important?
Of course judgment and job-specific behaviors. But for now, you’ll want to focus on whether the applicant meets the minimum standards for your system.
To do that, one of the first things you’ll want to look at is “Conscientiousness” the common personality factor widely accepted to be with the biggest influence on performance in a wide variety of jobs.
- If the individual is detail-oriented or not,
- Organized or disorganized,
- Is spontaneous or a planner , and
- Whether he/she is proactive or a procrastinator.
That’s why it’s included in most personality profiles.
However, “Conscientiousness” is NOT ALWAYS predictive. Detail-oriented people, in spite of good intentions — or perhaps because of them — can become bogged down in minutiae and simply run out of time.
Each business type has different needs in these 4 areas, so, short of doing a scientific study to identify how relevant these characteristics are, it’s best left up to each franchisor or employer to decide which are the most important for their business.
Since “Conscientiousness” is not always predictive on its own, it shouldn’t be considered enough on which to base a decision. Consider it one of several hurdles that the applicant must pass before moving along in the selection process.
How to measure it
Trying to come up with questions that focus on the overall concept of “Conscientiousness” is difficult, if not impossible. However, it’s fairly easy to come up with a set of questions when it’s broken out into its four parts.
For example, here’s the 4 parts with a sample question to use for each one:
- Detail oriented vs. not detail oriented – Q: Describe projects that have required accuracy and attention to detail. How did you handle them?
- Organized vs. disorganized – Q: Are you a very organized person? Why do you say that?
- Spontaneous vs. a planner – Q: Are you systematic? Why do you say that?
- Proactive vs. a procrastinator – Q: Are you a self-starter? Why do you say that?
Of course you’ll want to ask more than one question for each of these four characteristics. The more you ask, the better your feel for the applicant will be.
But there’s a fine balance between accurately measuring the characteristics and the number of questions. You don’t want to add so many questions that answering them becomes onerous and turns off the applicant. At the same time, you need to ask enough questions to give a level of confidence in the results.
Plus, since you’ll be trying to use these questions during the initial vetting process, you’ll want to keep costs down as much as possible while still getting the benefits of using a consistent selection process.
I’m working on putting together Interviewing Workbooks for employee selection as well as franchisee selection. If you’re interested in getting a free copy when I’ve finished, let me know and I’ll put you on the list.