According to Inc., employers are trying to find people who thrive while working remotely and put an emphasis on what is going well. Negative Nellies need not apply – optimistic people are in high demand.
As an employer, there are ways to determine optimism up front during the interview process. Obviously, this is when you want to find out. The last thing you need is to discover that someone is toxic after they have been hired, because odds are, they have already begun corrupting and disengaging fellow co-workers.
How do you hire for optimism? According to Rebecca Woods, VP of Human Resources at Doherty Employer Services, if you pose tough questions and situational scenarios, you’ll get more concrete real-world answers. Woods advises that you conduct a mid-afternoon interview and:
- Ask the name of their supervisor at each prior job and what the candidate believes is his/her greatest need for improvement, followed by what their supervisor would identify as their strongest/weakest areas of performance.
- Intersperse supervisor questions with world events questions, such as, “How has the XYZ trend impacted you in your job?” or “How have new XYZ regulations impacted the company where you work?” Such questions will provide insight into the person’s ability in tying world events to their work.
Woods says, “Near the end of the interview, ask questions that address disappointments in their job, highest achievements, and things they would change about their supervisor and current employer. After an hour and a half or so, most people will begin to drop their best behavior and the real person will emerge. Once this happens, what do you see? Irritation? A lack of stamina? A more relaxed person? A more tense person? A more engaged person? I guarantee you will begin to see the ‘stuff behind the fluff’ when you go over the two-hour mark.”
JILL, WHAT CAN I DO? I’ve read about a lot of interview techniques. Although this one is new to me, it sounds effective. From my experience, a person can only put on a show for so long before their real personality emerges. So, although a two-hour interview sounds daunting, try it out. If this technique enables you to hire an optimist – and it sounds like it does, it’s worth its weight in gold.