How to identify top performers?

As the saying goes “You are only as good as your team.” High growth companies need fast-growing teams; they need the best possible teams to stay ahead.

So how do you identify top talent? It is certainly out there, especially as many workers look to use this unprecedented time to pursue new opportunities. The key lies in the job interview, both the questions you ask along with your evaluation of the responses you receive.

Below are four key interview questions and responses to look out for.

Can you recall a time when you had a major success at work?

  • Listen for a unique answer. If the candidate does not have a success story, it may be an indication that they have a lack of drive or a lack of enthusiasm about work more basically. When top talent wins at work—they are palpably excited by it. And that emotion is contagious.
  • Stay away of candidates who do not mention contributions to the success from people outside themselves. This red flag signifies the absence of a collaborative spirit.

Why did you specifically apply for this job?

  • Top candidates are not sending their CV’s everywhere. They carefully target before putting their name in for consideration. So here you are looking for evidence that they know about your company as well as the unique position they are interviewing for.
  • Listen for how the candidate connects the job they’re interviewing for to their life and career goals. Top performers know to optimise their goals in combination with each other. They should tell you where they want to be in five years, as well as how this exact job aligns with their ideal of success.

Tell me about a time when you felt demotivated at work. What was that like?

  • Look for resilience. Why? Because it is common for demotivated people to quit. Avoid recruiting people who admit to doing this.

Tell me about a time when you received feedback that hurt your feelings

  • Listen for an answer first and foremost. If the candidate does not have an experience like this to share, they likely are not experienced enough for the job.
  • Listen for an honest awareness and ability to express emotion, as well as the ability to effectively tell a story.
  • Stay away from candidates who end their story by describing a trigger and their consequent disengagement. Lean towards those that end by describing a point at which they moved past the event, acknowledged the feedback as 100% true, and afterward took steps to grow from it.
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