EMPLOYERS WANT TO HIRE CANDIDATES THAT ARE TRULY PASSIONATE ABOUT WHAT THEY DO. PROBLEM IS, ALMOST EVERY CANDIDATE SAYS THEY ARE. SO HOW DO ASSESS A CANDIDATE’S PASSION?
Every candidate walks into an interview room to try to show the best side of themselves. And you can never really ask the question “so how passionate are you about our cause?” because it would certain just trigger a well-rehearsed, positive response from them.
How do you weed out who is genuinely passionate about your company’s mission? And who’s just pretending?
I would like to try to offer some ideas, from my ideas working with fellow Malaysians, on the questions you can ask during the interview:
1) “Apart from any official company training, how do you develop yourself outside of the office?”
This question would almost certainly have candidates responding with “reading books, magazines etc”. You can then follow up with a more specific question about any recent articles they’ve read or books etc, and ask them to explain what they learned. It will take most candidates by surprise, so allow them to think (don’t assume any hesitation as a sign that they are not being truthful), and when they answer, you can then gauge their thought process and how much substance they have over the subject.
2) “What do you think needs improving in your profession and why?”
This is a great question to see if the candidate responds with passion about the issues, and real insights into their profession or if they are just giving you a generic answer. But the other important thing you can gauge from how they answer this question is whether they offer any solutions, or if they are a negative person.
3) “Who do you consider to be role models or mentors and why?”
If they answer someone from their family, listen carefully to whether it’s a generic answer or whether there is a genuine reason for them to be inspired, and it should be related to the profession at some level. If you feel it’s not convincing, try encouraging them to look outside their family and see if they know who the “heroes” of their profession are, and what they think of them. I believe most passionate people have someone that they look up to and admire.