#Nextchat: Motivation-Based Interviewing




The candidate seemed to have it all: a great resume, the perfect skills and confident responses to all of your interview questions. You had a good feeling about this one. Finally, a high performer, that terrific hire who undoubtedly would produce extraordinary results. But that was not how it turned out, was it?  Here’s a little secret: Before you can hire a high-performer, you must correctly identify a high-performer. And, to identify a high-performer, you must ask effective interview questions and know how to evaluate the answers.      

In her book Motivation-Based Interviewing (SHRM, 2018), hiring expert and popular keynote speaker Carol Quinn provides a comprehensive guide for accurately and reliably assessing skill, attitude and passion – the three components common to all high-performers – so you can expose the incremental differences that separate the genuine high-performers from the pretenders.

“The difference between high-performers and everyone else,” says Quinn, “is not how eager a person is to get the job, or even about their bounty of skills, but rather it’s how eager a person is to actually do the job,” says Quinn. “The million-dollar question is ‘how can we make this distinction before someone is hired?’ Everything revolves around how we assess self-motivation.”

Although evaluating a candidate’s skill set is important, insights into a candidate’s attitude is even more important. “Hiring the best requires more than just assessing a candidate’s skill,” Quinn says. “Interviewers must also determine the candidate’s attitude toward overcoming obstacles and how passionate they are about doing the work, because both are proven predictors of self-motivation and future success.”

To hire well, interviewers must have a greater understanding of motivation to be able to correctly distinguish those who are self-motivated from those who will need to be motivated to do their job, Quinn says. “We have an epidemic problem with unmotivated, or disengaged, employees, making employee engagement one of the hottest workplace topics. Which brings us to this question – are we really hiring self-motivated people in the first place? When looking for ways to improve organizational performance, we can no longer ignore the huge role our hiring practices play.”

Realizing that motivation assessment is the key to hiring well isn’t a new concept. Quinn says that “knowing how to assess motivation correctly is a new concept for many interviewers and hiring managers, and, furthermore, not knowing how is the number one reason why most organizations have hit-or-miss results.”

High-performers have a predominant “I can” attitude, which means when they encounter on-the-job challenges – and every employee does – they do something others don’t. They relentlessly seek solutions without getting discouraged or giving up. As a result, they find more solutions and achieve more goals. That’s powerful!

So, where does passion come into play? Quinn says, “The spark from passion converts the ‘I can’ attitude into a physical energy that is used to fuel self-motivation. It takes both the right attitude and loving the work you do for maximum self-motivation to occur … the kind that high-performers have.”

Motivation-based interviewing fills in the missing pieces, takes the guesswork and gut instinct factors out of the hiring equation, and helps you find the talent that will transform your organization. Motivation-based interviewing is revolutionizing how we hire.

How are you incorporating motivation-based interviewing practices into your hiring strategies or how can you get started?

Please join @shrmnextchat at 3:00 p.m. ET on September 19 for #Nextchat with special guest Carol Quinn (@CQAttitude). We’ll chat about how you can begin using motivational-based interviewing with your next hire.

Q1. One of the most common misconceptions in hiring is that skill level equates to job performance level. Why?

Q2. Why is it impossible to accurately assess a candidate’s level of self-motivation to do a job using behavior-based interviewing?

Q3. What exactly is attitude, and why is it such a powerful predictor of future performance and success?

Q4. How can attitude assessment be incorporated into your employee selection process?

Q5. What is different about Motivation-Based Interview questions?

Q6. Since Motivation-Based Interviews assess not only skill, but three components -- skill, attitude and passion—should it take extra interviewing time? Why?

Q7. Which hiring metrics provide the most insights into effective and efficient hiring? Which are most important to track to and why?

Q8.  What advice can you share for one step that organizations can take today to begin to incorporate motivation-based interviewing into their hiring process?

If you missed this #Nextchat, you can read all the tweets in the RECAP here


How to participate in an HR Twitter chat.





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