Employee Commitment

How Committed Is Your Applicant?

Ask The Expert

By Barbara Mitchell 

Q: I keep reading that one way to evaluate an applicant is to see how much passion and commitment they show to the job and our organization in the interview process. Isn’t this a lot to ask of applicants?

A: There are a couple of ways to look at commitment and passion. One is to ensure that the applicant is sincerely interested in your job opening. It can be frustrating to have a talented candidate go through the whole process and then turn you down. That’s one kind of commitment that you need to be able to evaluate.

The second is to try to evaluate whether the candidate is sincerely committed to and passionate about the work that your organization does. Knowing whether one applicant is more committed than another may be the critical factor in your hiring decision.

Every applicant you interview is going to try to sell you on how passionate they are about the job and your organization. The key is to ask good questions and listen carefully to the responses you get.

Certain questions can help you evaluate how committed and passionate an applicant is.

Questions to judge commitment to your organization:

  • What do you know about our organization?
  • What was it about our job posting that caused you to apply?
  • What parts of this position do you think you will like the most?
  • What parts of this position do you think you will dislike the most?
  • Are there responsibilities in the job description that excite you more than others?
  • If we offer you the job, how long would you plan to stay here?

Questions to judge passion for the job or field:

  • How do you stay up to date in your field?
  • Is there something in your field that you’d like to solve, create, change, or blow up? What about working here would help you accomplish that?
  • What challenge in your field keeps you up at night?

Hiring isn’t easy. You have to select applicants carefully from the pool you’ve been given and then evaluate whether what they’re telling you is how they really feel and how they really work. Every applicant you interview is going to try to sell you on how passionate they are about the job and your organization. The key is to ask good questions and listen carefully to the responses you get. 

Barbara Mitchell is a human resources and management consultant and author of The Big Book of HR,The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook and the latest book—The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book. Do you have a question you’d like her to answer in “Ask the Expert”? Send it to [email protected].

 

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