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Talent is in short supply in today’s world. Every company does its best to attract the right talent. As a manager you have to be great at assessing candidates during a selection interview.

Most candidates seem to have brilliant resumes. How do you distinguish who would be the best fit for your requirements?

First of all, be clear on what you are looking for. Know what to map the candidate against by identified specific competences that make for job success. This is best done by understanding what successful job holders do to achieve the results they provide. Observing the behaviours that help them succeed gives you insight into what is required for the new incumbent to succeed.

A bedrock of behaviour based interviewing: Past performance is the best predictor of future performance.

On this basis, get candidates to speak of what they have actually done rather than what they would do in hypothetical situations.

In behaviour based Interviewing, we often use the STAR method:

S- Situation. Discuss a specific situation you were involved in. This sets up the context. Actions taken by the candidate cannot be seen in isolation, so this is an important element for better understanding candidate capabilities.

T- Tasks the candidate was required to do to succeed in the situation described. What were the challenges? What needed to be achieved? What had to be done?

A- Actions that the candidate specifically did to accomplish the task described. Look for consistency across all that has been said. Check for actions done by the individual rather than general comments on what happened. Identify traits that flow from the actions taken by the candidate.

R- Results that followed as a consequence of the actions taken.
What were the specific outcomes? Did they address the issues set out to be resolved? Were they achieved through proper means? Does the candidate give importance to means achieved to achieve the desired results? Is it results at any cost?

Use the STAR to better understand and assess candidate behaviours and capabilities.

Hiring is today one of your foremost responsibilities. If you select well, the new addition could be a great asset to your team.

If you select poorly, the new hire could just be the latest in the list of perpetual headaches you have. This is bad for you and your team.

What is worse is that you have only yourself to blame. You were the guy who made that wrong hire.

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