I recently organised a follow up meeting with someone I’d met at a networking group. Nothing unusual about this, I know, but I was particularly excited as she was based in Manchester which is a new area for me to develop contacts and relationships.
My natural instinct, as an experienced interviewer, is to start off asking someone about themselves and their business so this is how we began.
22 minutes later, this lady was still talking about herself.
She was also telling me lots about how to go about recruiting someone and giving me hints and tips on how to do this effectively.
Rather than interrupt her flow, I carried on listening, nodding and smiling. I was thinking to myself, she must surely be about to stop and ask about me and my business.
Sadly, this wasn’t to be the case. She did stop, but only to ask me what it was that I wanted to know about her, as I’d organised this meeting.
We’ve all met these sorts of people, who lack the self-awareness and interpersonal skills required to have a balanced and effective networking meeting.
What if this person worked for me?
How would they interact with my clients? Would they:
How would you find out before you made the wrong decision to hire them?
Hiring mistakes are bad for business
Service based businesses rely heavily on their people: their ability to get to know client needs, identify where they can add value and build trust. Asking open questions about others is the only way to effectively achieve this and if a person doesn’t have this in their skill set, they are going to be bad for your business.
The wrong person will at best, jar negatively with colleagues, at worst cause reputational damage to your brand and lose you clients.
The trouble is that people who like to talk about themselves excessively may well perform seemingly brilliantly at interview and impress you into thinking they are the right person for your team.
‘They were really confident and chatty. Just what we’re looking for’
Effective interviews should consist of 20% interviewer talking, 80% candidate so they will feel right at home in an interview.
However, in order not to have the wool pulled over your eyes, you need to have other forms assessment in place in addition to structured interviews, which will identify individuals who have the relevant building relationships skills and those who simply don’t.
Scenario based exercises and role plays are ideal for this. You can observe a candidate in a near job simulation and check out their ability to ask questions, listen and build relationships. You’ll be amazed at the insight you gain into the way someone behaves.
If you’d like to learn how to spot an ‘all about me’ and select an ‘all about them’, please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you. You can book an initial discovery call and I can assure you, we’ll talk all about you.
ALI WATERS ASSOCIATES
Telephone: 07971 511 731
ALI WATERS ASSOCIATES 2016
is the trading name of Ali Waters Ltd. Company No. 09480892,
The Cottage, Grove Avenue, Epsom, Surrey, KT17 4DT