Tuesday, August 19, 2014

How to test for Integrity and Honesty in an interview

Emotional Intelligence or EI, everyone knows has been a popular topic for leadership discussion. An emotion oriented tool to lead one to be better understood, empathized, connected, related, engaged and cared and give the same feelings to others and all these are good behaviors that determine a healthy relationship where people thrive, together. Watch the words, biblical as it may sound, “thrive together”!

This place is an anti-cut throat competition place. Brotherhood! Benevolence!

How can we use EI at interview to select a right-fit, for selection, success of the candidate and success of the role? 
Questions shall revolve around, understanding self-drive, passion, decision-making, inclusiveness, empathy, 'subjective objectivity' into the decision-making process, wider and deeper outlook to consider all factors, situations, people, environment, culture, and overall seeing and positioning oneself under lens of EI scrutiny all the time and in all such situations of human/emotional interface, etc. the UI (user interface) must always be attractive?

...and then begins the talk ...

What was the situation? (tell me about a situation when you had to take a quick decision on ramping up (staff-augmentation?)/down-sizing your team..)

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What was your exact role? (What were those key expectations from you, do you think?)

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What were the circumstances? (What circumstances, you think had led to the situation with management and what were situations at people's end and your end at that point in time to meet this need)

- What did you do exactly? (exactly)

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How did you do it? (yeah! please tell me in steps)

- What were the consequences? (and were these consequences anticipated,? How did you respond to them?)



Now you have a deep-dive into the maturity, depth of experience of the person and his approach and candidate’s self-governing principles, capacity to manage emotions vs. ruthless needs of the job at hand and make communication inclusive yet decisive will reflect a factor called "personality"! See how you look like and project the other in front of you: a hero, a villain or a victim! And how do you sound, appear and act like: Hero, villain or a victim! In the story of situations and circumstances, we all appear like either a hero, villain or a victim or if you are in audience or reflecting on a bye gone story, whose side do you sit it what is your character!

Integrity comes after establishing that there is a personality! A defined being with a set of values and mechanism to respond to time, people and tasks!

Measuring EI is not possible. What is possible is to understand the depth of one's ability to comprehend situation, articulate the needs, build an approach,  plan it thoroughly, act decisively considering all factors and stakeholders and arrive at a result. 
It is a serious process of interviewing as you are trying to measure the un-measurable and unless process done with absolute 'integrity', it will just lead to huge pile of notes and they all will be so diversified for different candidates. 

Only 'integrity' gets integrity!

Cross-sectional view into personality and EI layer would pop-out if the values, approach, principals are challenged and there comes out "integrity" or absence of it!
There is no other exclusive way to find out 'integrity'. It is only through immersed listening, watching and over all experiencing of the theatrics! 

Normally to test or check integrity, questions are asked like, "Quite late you found that the last report sent to the client had major errors and now you are already late and team has left and it is long weekend, correcting it will require good 10 hours of team effort at least, what would you do in this situation?"

"What are some of your failures, you would like to talk about?"

Here, what an interviewer would expect is 
"Honesty": first proof of 'integrity', second, "take the right decision of owning the task and look forward", irrespective of "consequences on self", third, "keep others informed and lead like a superhuman" to correct the mistakes" to save client, respect and pride for 'company, brand, team etc.

Do we not know that people can tell all these when they respond. A smooth talker will pass the test. We will not have lie detector or an expert to read "micro-expressions". You go by gut-feel or what you 'feel' like.

So, how do we write a report on candidate's key strengths which are "Honesty", "Integrity", which are so critical to one's success in any role, especially when it is a leadership role?


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