How do you uncover if the person in front of you, in their best attire, smiling their best smile, is for real?

The next time you have an interview consider these three ways to distinguish who someone says they are from who they really are:

1) Approach the entire interview as an easy conversation.

You want a dialogue where stories are exchanged and red flags revealed. Ultimately you want to have someone describe in detail what they’re passionate about, what have been their biggest lessons learned, their gravest errors, what they do under pressure, how they express frustration, how they think and process information, how they best work with others etc. This is an opportunity to get to know someone, so ask yourself, what do I want to know? If you come from a place of genuine curiosity and create that energy in the room, you are much more likely to have a candidate reveal the “real deal.”

2) Tell me more.

This is one of the most powerful things you can say in an interview to someone you’re interviewing. You’re coming from a place of curiosity and you want to go deeper than the surface level answer. Oftentimes candidates will reach for stories of experiences – this is where it gets juicy and interesting and authentic. If there isn’t more to tell, then it probably isn’t real.

3) Don’t stick to the script.

Listen and improvise. Meaning when they throw out a bone of something that seems genuine or intriguing outside of their pat answers – jump on it and have your line of questioning follow it. Recently I interviewed a gentleman who said that he believes the company he is currently with hired him for his attitude. I then asked, and what attitude would that be? And he said that since it’s a button up corporate environment that does creative work, they appreciated his edgy attitude, his tattoos and in essence his street cred. Mmmmm interesting.

Looking for more ideas on culture building, leadership management and employee happiness? Check out our other Culture Tips articles and Culture Works, a training manual for creating a better workplace.

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