The Most Important Candidate Trait and How to Detect It

by | Sep 18, 2020

In a podcast from the archive, Dave Mashburn discusses the most important candidate trait to look for during an interview.

There’s one trait that is, by far, the best predictor of performance.

Some people just care more.

They care more about going the extra mile, the quality of their work, the nature of their conversations, and how they make customers feel.

It’s my belief that caring more really separates the highest performers from the average performers.

While assessing for this trait will help you make better hires, it’s difficult to detect during an interview.

So how do find out if a candidate has it? Here’s Dave’s advice:

You have to get your candidates to talk about their personal work stories–about what they’ve accomplished, and how they did it.

This is difficult because their cursory stories and standard answers won’t reveal their caring attitude.

You have to keep asking questions. The more you ask details, the more the stories of those who care will emerge with richness and depth.

Doing this type of interview takes a lot self-discipline. It means being quiet, not talking about your own experiences, and listening carefully.

But once you start hearing how someone truly cares more than the average person, you’ll know you’re sitting across from someone who’s special.

Why? It’s nearly impossible for a candidate to fake that they really care.


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