At Talent Attraction Experts we believe that great people make a great company. So, how do you ensure that the people you hire are great? First, it is important to go through a consistent and systematic process in order to determine and assess, a candidate’s skills and abilities. While this is a critical part of the process, there is an art, and science, to make a great hire.

The science involves using a process to gather data on someone in a variety of situations and comparing it to what you want that person to do in the role and in the organization. The art of making a great hire is uncovering what the candidate doesn’t say. We call this looking for the ideal attitude or the red flags to avoid.

How can you tell if someone has the right attitude? The key is to identify the attitude that is important then ask questions to get more information (science) and make observations about behavior that illustrate that attitude (art).

Five Attitudes that Make a Great Hire

There are five key attitudes that can reveal the potential of any candidate. The attitudes are listed below with the key questions to ask and some of the behaviors that might show this person possesses that attitude.

  1. Tenacity. Tenacity is the quality of being determined or persistence.
  • Following are some key questions to ask to uncover if someone is tenacious:
    • Tell me about a time when you encountered a challenge and didn't give up.
    • Describe a time you failed on the job and what you did.
  • Following are some things someone who is tenacious might say or do:
    • In my previous position, I continued on a project until it was successful.
    • In my previous position, I went above and beyond what was required to complete a project even under impossible deadlines.
    • I am a person who never gives up. Challenges excite me.
    • They make eye contact and are engaged during the interview.

  1. Commitment. Commitment means the quality of being dedicated to a cause. A commitment is when someone makes a promise and fulfills on the promise regardless of the circumstances.

  • Following are some key questions to ask to uncover if someone is committed:
    • Tell me about a time when you wanted to give up but didn’t.
    • Why do you think commitment is important? Give me an example of a time you were committed.
  • Following are some things someone who is committed might say or do:
    • There were obstacles for me to overcome to hit my goals but I was committed to producing the results I had promised.
    • I promised myself that I would make 25 calls per week so I blocked my time, made a plan and followed through.
    • My word is my bond. I do what I say I am going to do.

  1. Team Player. A team player is someone who works well as a member of a team or group. They are collaborative and welcome the opportunity to work with others.

  • Following are some key questions to ask to uncover if someone is a team player:
    • Tell me about a goal that required collaboration.
    • Describe a time when you organized a work, or personal, event.
  • Following are some things someone who is a team player might say or do:
    • When I get stuck, I ask for help.
    • One of the best parts of my job was working with my peers, or colleagues, on projects.
    • I like to socialize.
    • I welcome feedback from my peers.

  1. Work Ethic. Work ethic means the belief in the benefit and importance of work as an inherent part of strengthening character.

  • Following are some key questions to ask to uncover if someone has a strong work ethic:
    • Tell me about a time that you went above and beyond to fulfill on a goal.
    • Describe a time you demonstrated self-discipline.
  • Following are some things someone who has a strong work ethic might say or do:
    • I am always on time.
    • I have been described as dependable.
    • I am dedicated to performing well.
    • I am described as self-disciplined.

  1. Learning-Based. Learning based means the individual is committed to the act or process of acquiring knowledge or skill.
  • Following are some key questions to ask to uncover if someone is learning based:
    • Tell me about the last book you read. Why was it important to you?
    • Describe a time you had to learn a new skill. How did you respond? What did you do?
  • Following are some things someone who is learning based has might say or do:
    • I am open to learning new things.
    • I am a voracious reader
    • I am into self-growth.
    • I want to be a better person, employee, spouse.

Five Attitudes That Are Red Flags

Just as there are attitudes that can reveal the potential of a candidate, there are attitudes that can be red flags. These are attitudes that you want to avoid when hiring someone. At times, we all demonstrate negative attitudes but in the hiring process, you are trying to discover if a candidates’ primary attitude is negative. The attitudes that could be red flags are listed below with definitions and some of the warning signs that you want to avoid.

  1. Negative. Negative means lacking in constructiveness, helpfulness or cooperativeness.
  • Some examples of what a negative person might say or do:
    • I worry that I won’t succeed. Listen for a proclivity to fret, be concerned, overthink, brood or panic.
    • I could never get anything done because we lacked resources. Watch for those though who protest, whine or grumble.
    • My supervisor was always critical of me. Negative people often have thin skin and take things personally.
    • I knew the worst was going to happen. Listen for stories or language about things going wrong instead of right.
  1. Victim. Victimhood is a personality trait in which a person sees themselves as a victim of the negative actions of others.
  • Some warning signs of a victim mentality:
    • They might tell a false tale to gain sympathy.
    • They believe they have been wronged.
    • They think things are done to them.
    • They blame others for what happens to them.
    • They get stuck in self-pity.

  1. Lone Ranger. A lone ranger is someone who acts alone and without consultation or the approval of others.
  • Some examples and key traits of a lone ranger:
    • I can do this by myself.
    • I don’t need help.
    • They tend to avoid or dislike, small talk.
    • They talk to themselves.
    • They tend to be contrarians for the sake of being contrarians.
    • I am described as self-disciplined.

  1. Inflexible. Inflexible means rigid or unyielding.
  • Some indicators of inflexibility:
    • They don’t like change.
    • They have trouble changing course or changing plans.
    • They have an inflexible pattern of relating.
    • Does repetitive tasks well but could struggle with creation or innovation.
    • They resist changes in schedule or environment.
  1. Immature. Immature means emotionally undeveloped or childish.
  • Some examples of immaturity:
    • They seek instant gratification.
    • They are impulsive.
    • They are focused on what they want.
    • They struggle with commitment.

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