Finding the perfect candidate for your company can be a weary task.
There are a multitude of factors that need to be addressed like; experience, cultural fit as well as ensuring you remove your own unconscious bias.
The humble old interview enables you to filter through your candidate pool, but ultimately, as an interviewer we are all just trying to figure out….Can this candidate really do the job?
Asking the right questions when running your interviews is key…. But there is one ultimate question can help you figure it all out.
The question is;
‘The major challenge in this role is (describe the challenge your hiring for). How would you go about solving that, and What have you done in your past experience that is most comparable?
It’s called the Most Significant Accomplishment (MSA) question. It was developed by author and industry expert Lou Adler.
A good way to approach this question can be to give the interviewee 10 minutes prep time to prepare their response. This filters out ‘on-the-spot tales’ and ‘reflexive stumbles.’ It also allows your interviewee a short window of critical thinking time, which can be important.
After your interviewee gives you their answer, make sure you dig right down to really quantify their answer. You can do this by using the following probing questions;
- Describe the scale of the project/situation?
- How did the project/situation arise?
- Give us a snapshot of the challenges involved?
- What sort of resources did you have at hand?
- What teams and roles were involved?
- Who did what and when? Who else was involved and why?
- Describe your manager’s style?
- What timeframes or KPI’s were you dealing with?
- What skills did you use? What did you learn?
- How did you plan your process?
- Walk through the “why” of a major decision
- What was the biggest problem and how was it solved?
- How did you grow?
- What mistakes did you make?
- What would you do differently?
- What outcome did you reach?
- What recognition did you receive?
By using the MSA as part of your interview processes, you will uncover many of the themes you need to know about your candidate, like; managerial style preference, complex problem-solving ability and self-awareness. The key difference is that you will be using the job’s real challenges or objectives as the compass or baseline behind these themes.
The candidate’s response will let you paint a detailed picture of their accomplishment, from a scale, team and complexity standpoint and compare it to the requirements of the role. It helps you and your candidates save time by pairing the right skills and background to the right role.
Asking for detailed evidence (by using the probing questions) will quickly identify those who are prone to exaggerate or those who just interview extremely well.
By using this method, you will elicit complete answers that really do relate to real job-needs. You can be confident your final candidate/s has the critical skills and experience to deliver on the most critical parts of your job.
Good luck with your hiring!
If you’d like further assistance with your recruitment strategy, feel free to contact us.
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