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Interviewing Can Be Like A Trip To The Salad Bar

by Beth Deison Smith

posted in Business

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I love the salad bar at my local organic grocery store! I mean, I really love it! Taking myself to lunch is a luxury that I rarely allow myself, but occasionally I will treat myself. The reason I love the salad bar is that I will eat vegetables there that I would never eat at home. My mouth just waters thinking about having the ability to choose which high quality ingredients go into my salad. The reason I get excited just by thinking about it is because I know that it will be the best salad I have had in a long time.
What if you could hand pick the qualities of your potential candidate like you can the vegetables at a salad bar? What if you could walk around the ingredients bar and were able to choose the qualities in a great employee that got you excited? For example, pick up the tongs over the "Loves Coming to Work" container, or pass over the "Can't See The Big Picture" container as you select your next great employee. After all, if you don't like mushrooms (or lack of vision), don't put them in your salad! It will just ruin your experience.
In essence, it really is that easy if you have a strategic interviewing process in place. You begin by identifying the qualities that go into an ideal candidate. Make a list of all the qualities that make up your Ideal Candidate and post that list some place where you can look at it everyday. Really dream and be bold with what an ideal candidate looks like then continue interviewing until you find that person.
When interviewing, ask questions that help you determine three things. #1 - Can I work with this person? #2 - Can they do the job? #3 - Are they passionate. Continue to keep your ideal candidate list in front of you and pay attention to the answers that candidates are providing during your interviews. Are they using language that shows they will love coming to work? Are they using "we" language" instead of "me" language? Are they providing examples of accountability or do they skew towards blame of managers and fellow team members? A candidate will tell you all that you need to know if you really listen to their responses. Then your new employee experience will be just like going to your local organic grocery store and walking around the salad bar: exciting, full of anticipation and a wholly satisfying, memorable experience that leads to an incredible contributor to your team.
About the Author: Interested in hiring more effectively? A-list Interviews provides training and hiring services to empower employers to more effectively interview. Our 7 step interview process using the Response Analysis System™ is highly effective, with a 91% success rate of hires still employed by the company after 12 months. - Learn more at
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