How to Check a Job Candidate’s Personality
September 28th, 2009 by lewis
Nick Corcodilos asks: “Managers, how do you check a candidate’s personality?” Interestingly enough, several posters mention personality tests. Here are ways to check without using personality tests:
Behavioral interview questions
- “Tell me about a project you worked on where the requirements changed midstream. What did you do?”
- “Tell me about a time when you took the lead on a project. What did you do?”
- “Describe the worst project you worked on.”
A single behavioral interview question can reveal a candidate’s personality. During a recent interview, I asked a candidate about his work, using the behavioral interview question technique. From his response, I deduced that he has had difficulty influencing others, can give up easily, and usually gets comfortable with the status quo.
References are a great way to verify a job seeker’s personality. Yes, references can be coached. However, I’ve found that most references aren’t coached, and those that are coached aren’t coached well. Contrary to popular opinion, references (even those that a candidate nominates) can be truthful. Straightforward questions like, “What’s his or her biggest weakness?” can offer surprising insights into a candidate’s personality.
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