경영과 세상살이/경영 리더십
괜찮은 사람을 채용할 수 있는 면접 질문 5가지
괜찮은 사람을 채용할 있는 면접 질문 5가지
(지원자의 인간성을 간단히 파악할 수 있는 면접 질문 방법)
면접에서 면접자에 대해 하는 질문은 대체로 개인의 역량과 인간성에 관한 두 가지 카테고리로 나위어진다. 하지만 대개의 경우 업무능력, 숙련도 혹은 자격과 같은 역량에 편중되어 평가되고 있고, 정직성, 공감 능력, 지혜로움과 같은 인간적 특성은 가볍게 다루어지거나 무시되는 경우가 많다.
인간적 특성에 관련하여 면접자가 말하는 '나의 장점은 성실성이다', '세심하다', '책임감이 강하다', '친화적이다' 등의 응답은 미리 예행 연습한 멘트로서 누구나 말할 수 있고 거의 솔직하지 못한 말이다. 지원자는 자신에게 불리한 약점을 드러낼 리가 없다.
그래서 회사는 지원자의 도덕성, 겸손, 자의식 등과 같은 인간성을 제대로 평가할 수 있는 방법을 찾아야 한다. 통상의 판에 박힌 대답으로 대충 넘길 수 없는 다음과 같은 질문을 사용할 필요가 있다.
Character question no. 1: “What are the one or two traits from your parents that you most want to ensure you and your kids have for the rest of your life?” The goal is to create a conversation that leads to a revelation, not a rehearsal, says Tjan. This question calls for a bit more thought on the applicant’s end and sheds light on the things they most value. After hearing the person’s initial response, Tjan says you should immediately follow up with “Can you tell me more?” This is essential if you want to elicit an answer with real depth and substance. And while you may be tempted to fill in a person’s silences, “be comfortable with a pregnant pause,” says Tjan. “Being patient and allowing them to share tends to lead to better answers.”
Character question no. 2: “What is 25 times 25?” Tjan wants to see how people react under real-time pressure, and their response can show you how they’ll approach challenging or awkward situations. Do they get defensive, ashamed or even angry? Or are they open-minded and willing to work at the problem? And if a candidate gives up or blurts out the wrong answer, Tjan likes to ask them to approach the question from a different angle: “Imagine instead that you have 25 quarters in your pocket — how much does that add up to?” This isn’t about checking whether someone’s good at mental math, he explains. “It’s about whether they can roll with the embarrassment and discomfort and work with me. When a person is in a job, they’re not always going to be in situations that are in their alley.”
Character question no. 3: “Tell me about three people whose lives you positively changed. What would they say if I called them tomorrow?” Checking references is generally a waste of time, asserts Tjan. Of course, they’ll have been selected and primed to brag about a candidate. Instead, he thinks it’s more informative to find out about the people whom an applicant has personally helped. It doesn’t have to be a coworker; it could be a relative, classmate, neighbor or friend. Organizations need employees who can lift each other up. “And if a candidate can’t think of a single person, I want to understand why,” Tjan says. He credits much of his success to relationships — both as mentor and as mentee — that he’s had in his life. When a person is naturally inclined toward compassionate mentorship, it can have a domino effect in an institution. “I’ve learned that it’s those types of people that cause organizations to be different,” he adds.
Character question no. 4: After an interview, ask yourself (and other team members, if relevant) “Can I imagine taking this person home with me for the holidays?” This may seem overly personal, but “you are trying to develop a relationship with them,” says Tjan. And even though you haven’t spent that much time with the person, you’ll usually have a gut reaction to this question. “When I ask this of colleagues, I get much more visceral yes/no responses than when I go through a competency checklist,” he says.
Character question no. 5: After an interview, ask security or the receptionist: “How was the candidate’s interaction with you?” Be conscious of how people treat strangers — it speaks to whether they act with compassion and openness and view others as equals. Tjan knows about one company where interviewers ask security to delay a candidate for up to 10 minutes to see their reaction. “But I don’t know if I would go that far,” he adds.
Hiring good people goes beyond corporate success. Staffing an organization with people of substance is about more than just improving your retention rate and bottom line, says Tjan. It can have ripple effects as your employees interact in the world, although this impact might be hard to detect and measure. And while the character questions here are intended to be used in job interviews, we’d all benefit from asking: “What role can I play in being a positive influence on others?”