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5 Characteristics to Look for When Hiring Top Talent

  • Publish Date: Posted about 3 years ago
  • Author: Taylor Varco

When you are interviewing, some questions you ask will reveal common characteristics among top-performing employees. An interview should be informative rather than conversational. Many hiring managers have hired someone based on their gut, just to regret it later. Be sure to ask questions that will reveal how potential employees would behave in particular situations. 

5 Characteristics of Top-Performing Employees and Questions that Will Reveal Them

If you are looking to hire an employee for your company and want to find out if they have the characteristics to fit into your company’s culture, ask questions that will get them talking. Look for the way they tell stories, if they speak about others with respect, and if they put work as a priority. 

Here are the 5 characteristics you should be looking for if you want to hire a top-notch employee: 

Respectful:Ask about a time someone let them down in a work environment and how they handled it. This will reveal the way they got through a setback. Were they assertive? Did they take action and overcome the obstacle? And as they talk about the co-worker or boss, do they stay respectful of the person who made a significant error? 

Accountable: Ask if they were to make a mistake on a team project, how would they handle it going forward? Would they come clean to the team or try to push the blame onto someone else? Listen carefully as they answer the question and be sure they show ownership of their mistakes. 

Team-Oriented: Ask them to describe the most challenging part of working with a team. See if they value teamwork and other people’s points of view. If they had a problematic team experience, were they able to step in the other people’s shoes and find ways to empathize and move forward? 

Motivated: Ask about their career goals and 5-year plan. Ask how they handle their life-work balance and see if it fits into your company's culture. As they answer the questions, you can see how passionate they are about work and how dedicated they are to delivering quality results. 

Grit: Ask them how they solved a problem that was an ongoing problem in the company. Did they persevere through hard times and do what’s best for the company? Do they have what it takes to push through long-term hard times in a company and stick to their motivations? 

For many hiring managers, the interview can reveal a lot about what kind of employee the person will be. But this is only the case if you are asking the questions that will show their work ethic and drive. 

In Summary

If you are stuck in a cycle of hiring employees who don’t perform as well as you were hoping, it’s time to change up the hiring process. Find the best ways to have a successful interview process where you discover the best parts about each candidate and how they would fit in with your company.