This is a guest blog written by Larry Gard, Ph.D. 

Whether you are an established business hoping to expand your staff or a new firm seeking to make its first hire, the wrong personnel decision can have enormous and lasting negative consequences.  Too many people rely on their gut when making these decisions, only to suffer from ongoing indigestion when saddled with a bad choice. 

Informed Listening

Most people rely on an interview to help determine whether there’s a good fit, but asking the right questions is only part of the process.  After all, the Internet is filled with lists of questions and yet hiring errors happen all the time.  There’s an awful lot going on during an interview.  It’s easy to be distracted by the candidate’s appearance, their verbal fluency, their level of anxiety, their efforts to change the topic, etc.  To reduce the impact of these distractions it helps to think through, in advance, how an ideal candidate might answer your questions.  As a psychologist I make my living listening to people, trying to discern meaning from what they tell me.  My advice to those doing employment interviews:

  1. Take the time to give sufficient thought to what sort of answers you’re looking for.

  2. Carefully think about the answers you get, as well as what the candidate didn’t say.

By having a sense of what constitutes a really good response, you’re in a better position to probe for it, to listen for it, and to recognize it when you hear it.  The nice thing is that using Hireology makes this so much easier to do.

About the author:

Larry Gard is a psychologist and president of Hamilton-Chase Consulting, a Chicago-based firm that helps individuals and small-to-medium sized businesses overcome the all-too-human obstacles that impede performance and profitability.  He specializes in Executive Coaching, Evaluation of Candidates for Hire, and Multi-Rater 360 Surveys. 

Larry can be reached at  

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