Two Questions Can Root Out a Potential Bad Hire

January 13, 2015

If you’ve ever hired a dud, you might be the problem. A 2013 Gallup report showed a trend the respected polling organization has measured for years: most employees are “not engaged.” In the most recent report, it was 63%. The “actively disengaged” (those who would sabotage their organizations) were counted at 24%.

Most interviewers do a poor job posing questions that root out problem employees. Next time you’re interviewing, try asking candidates the following:

  1. Tell me about a time you disappointed someone.
  2. When was the last time you took a risk and what was the outcome?

If the person cannot come up with a time he or she disappointed someone, you’ve got a liar on your hands. The answer to the second question is important depending upon the type of job the person will hold. You do not want a customer service agent who is risk averse, but you do want an accountant who is.

If you’re going to spend only an hour making a decision that will have a long-term impact upon your company, make sure the interview hour is well-used so you don’t end up with a loser. In fact, spending five minutes getting answers to two key questions may save you the rest of that hour and a lifetime of grief.

Contributed by Laura Simms, Risk and Safety Specialist, CoStaff Services.