I consider interviewing one of my weaker skill areas and I admit that my primary interview tool is my 'gut' - with (of course) mixed results.  I have hired superstars, and have had some train wrecks.  

I have been working through the interview casts - including the cast on behavioral interviewing - and am going to use the techniques immediately.

Two thoughts came to mind - how to practice before my next candidate interview this week, and, should I 're-hire' my current staff.

Is it a crazy idea to use some of my O3 time to ask behavioral questions of my current directs?  

For instance, I am concerned that one of my more junior PMs could be more effective keeping project goals in focus and managing distractions.

So I would ask an candidate the question like this:

"We manage many projects, and are often drowned in work. Share with me an example of you demonstrating a clear goal and ignoring distractions"

Could you ask a current direct the same basic question this way:

"You manage many projects, and mention that you are often drowned in work.  Tell me how you stay focused on project deliverables and ignore distractions"

So two questions:

- Would this be an effective way to practice the behavioral interview technique?

- Is it effective to continuously be re-interviewing your current staff? 





gpeden's picture

I listen to the cast again, and testing interview questions on you directs is recommended.  Do you recommend just asking the question in the course of an O3? Or would you say "I am working up a set of interview questions and would be interested in your answer/perspective?".




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maura's picture
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Hiring the right person is THE most important part of your job.  If you get that right, the rest is easier.  By all means, get as much feedback as possible about your interview process so you have the best odds of finding someone who is perfect for the role.

I asked my team to be part of the interview process in several ways, including asking each of them to take a look at my potential questions, tell me whether they thought they would help "split the field" into good and bad candidates, and give me an example of what a good and bad answer might look like.  Because this was my first round of hiring since coming in as their manager, I wanted to make it clear that I wasn't trying to pull anything sneaky like interviewing them after the fact (although I did learn some interesting things in the process), and also to build their trust that I would find the best possible candidates for our team.  My more experienced team members also helped sort resumes into "A-list" and "B-list", and they sat in on second interviews to lend their insights when deciding who got the offer. 

We ended up with three truly stellar new hires.