We didn't know that Claudia didn't know how to get organized, or that she would get distracted easily and miss every deadline she was ever given, when we interviewed her.
Her background was stellar and she interviewed well. She was likable. The entire interview team agreed so we hired her.
Which is something we began to regret a month or so after she started.
She was smart and attentive in meetings. She always had good ideas. Personally, she was great to be around.
But, she was easily distracted, couldn't manage priorities and was late on EVERY deadline.
It was a drain to the team.
Research conducted by my Assessment Partner, TTI Success Insights, Ltd., found that top performers had two traits, no matter what the position:1) Personal Accountability and 2) Knowing How to Get Organized (Time/Self-Management.)
Since these skills are so important to superior performance on the job - I want you to begin looking for them in every candidate, for every position. Here's an overview on the Time/Self-Management Skill, plus interview questions you can begin using right away:
A Great Definition of 'Knowing How to Get Organized and Time/Self Management' Skill:
It is the ability to prioritize and complete tasks in order to deliver desired outcomes within allotted time frames. It is when a person consistently demonstrates self control and an ability to manage their time and priorities. (What job can you think of that does not need these strengths? My point exactly - it's important in EVERY position.)
Typical Behaviors of People Who Have Strong 'How to Get Organized and Time/Self Management Skills':
Our "we like her so we hired her" candidate, Claudia, didn't do any of these things very well. And, I bet you can think of a low performer on your team who struggles in these areas too, can't you?
If so, make two decisions: 1) manage that person tightly (consider creating a Performance Dashboard for their position and manage them to it so that they either get with the program or you have back up to help move them out of the company) and 2) begin asking the following competency-based interview questions of all future hires.
How to Get Organized and Time/Self Management Skills Interview Questions Reminders:
As you ask candidate’s these questions realize that you don’t need to know in advance what the
‘perfect’ answer to each question is.
It is just your job to know that this skill is important to superior performance and you must listen aggressively to the candidate’s answers. Press each candidate to provide specific answers and examples. Do the candidate's answers indicate a superior performers mindset?
If a person is strong in this area they will be able to provide specific
examples that demonstrate capability. If they are NOT strong in this area their answers and examples
will tend to be weak and limp, and they will struggle to give you good examples.
These may seem like “hard” questions. Do not shy away from using them. This Skill is too important. Try a couple of them in your next interview. You may be surprised at how well they
work, and how much they reveal.
You never want to do what we did. Don't hire Claudia!