Knowing what type of questions to ask a potential job candidate is often the most frustrating part of the recruitment process. While many employers continue to ask the same types of interview questions, the answers given don’t provide you enough information about the employee’s attitude. According to Mark Murphy, as written in his book, Hiring for Attitude, “46% of the people hired will fail in the first 18 months on the job – 89% of the time, it’s because of attitude.” In order to avoid the mistake of hiring an employee based merely on his skills and job experience, evaluate your interview questions first. Including specific questions and instances related to your industry will help you discover if the employee has the proper attitude for the open position.

The Importance of Valuing Attitude over Job Skills

Technical skills can be taught, but attitude is something an individual has naturally developed; this is one of the primary reasons why attitude should be valued over job skills. The attitude of an employee will most likely not change; therefore it is crucial for you to determine a candidate’s attitude during the recruitment process.

There is no right attitude; this will change depending on your company and industry. In order to determine the attitude you are looking for, take the industry, unique company needs, and job title into consideration. For instance, one company may find an employee who is motivated by success to be an excellent attitude to have, while others like to recruit employees who show that they are creative and can solve difficult problems using unique methods.

The attitude of the potential employee must also mesh well with the attitudes of supervisors, management, and other employees. No matter what type of company you have or in what industry you are experienced in, employees need to work together as a team. In order for optimum success, having employees with attitudes that work well together is vital.

Why Typical Interview Questions are Ineffective

The typical questions asked in an interview — “Tell me about yourself,” “What are your strengths?” and “What are your weaknesses?” are all legitimate enough questions.  But the employee is often expecting them and has their answer rehearsed before the interview even starts. Typical and behavioral interview questions aren’t industry-specific and won’t be tailored to your specific company and product. For this reason, more unique and original interview questions are needed to determine the attitude of a candidate.

How to Assess Attitude in Candidates

Choose interview questions that go beyond the typical types of questions asked. They will provide more insight into the individual you are recruiting. For starters, you compile a list of important traits and attitude types that are essential for your company and industry, whether that be someone who is good at problem solving or a quick learner. Reword this list into interview questions that will help you gather what type of attitude the candidate has. For instance, if you ask the question “Could you please explain an instance where you were asked to do a task you were not familiar with?” you have given the employee a chance to explain how well they learn new things and how exactly they go about learning something with little instruction.

Assessing attitude gives you the ability to hire employees who will be a good fit for your company, rather than those who will bring solely experience and a certain skill set. While skills are important, more attention should be paid to the individual’s attitude and answers to your unique interview questions during the recruitment process.

For access to a pool of highly skilled candidates in the Chicago, Northwest Indiana and surrounding areas, be sure to get in touch with Davis Staffing today. We can help you select the right candidates who have the skills and attitude to help your company succeed.