Conducting Better Interviews with Value-Based Intuition

In yesterday’s postwe began to explore how you can conduct better interviews by supporting your intuition with an understanding of your values and learning how to recognize those values in your candidates. Today we’ll look at some details of how to use these skills in an interview.interview
To do this, I want you to recognize what it is like to take a test. Imagine a time you were in school and were handed a surprise test. For most of you, there was an unknown that could ignite anxiety over your expectation to pass.
Focusing on passing makes it more difficult for you to identify chemistry. You are likely judging how you or the interviewer are performing. Did you give a well thought out answer to a question or think about how well you were connecting with them?
Testing makes it hard to hear the values that you share and those you do not. You are hearing what you want to hear, trying to pass. Most people out of work, unhappy where they are, or who want the job before they even interview are inclined to experience this type of “rose-colored” listening.
Now, imagine you are back in school, and your teacher is taking you on a field trip. This was an adventure that would open your mind with curiosity and discovery. You might go to the museum and look at a painting for its brush strokes, subject matter, or colors; or go to the concert, listening to the vocals, lyrics, lead guitar, or watching their stage presence. If you liked it, you would know why, and if you did not you would know why as well.
The way to bring a field trip mentality to an interview is to envision a trip you have taken that inspires you. That fantastic vacation or class trip that opened your eyes in wonder. When you fully embrace your field trip story, you will have that same open and curious mind, which allows you to listen for the values that are being shared by the person you are meeting. There is no pressure to pass; it’s more of an opportunity to explore.

Identifying and Articulating Values

Yet, there is still something missing in order to listen for values; it’s your ability to articulate what they are. For most of you, articulating your values is very limited. Most people can only identify three or four, yet you have so many more.
To successfully listen for chemistry, you will want to identify at least twenty of your values. There are many ways to do this:

  1. Ask yourself what you value in the people you work with.
  2. Google “company values,” and you will find many lists that you can choose from.
  3. Ask others who know you what values they see in you.

Naming your values is an inspiring exercise to take on. Values characterize your sense of self, are elemental to the actions you take, clarify your voice, and focus your mind.
Identifying your values is the key to being able to hear which ones connect you to the person you are speaking to and which ones do not. You will want them written in a notepad that you bring to the interview.
In every sentence, many values wash over you without your identifying them, causing that gut feeling. Articulating and taking ownership of your values will make it much easier to identify chemistry, the most critical factor in choosing the right job.

Bringing it All Together in an Interview

As you begin the interview, ask a first question that will bring values out in the conversation, “What makes you and your company successful?” (Ask yourself this question to discover more of your values.)
Below is a short answer to this question with some of my predetermined values written as an example. Tone and body language associated with the conversation will influence how you perceive the values that you hear as well.
“That’s a good question, what makes us successful? We are always looking for better ways to accomplish our work, and we do a brilliant job.”
Here are my predetermined values and there are others. What values of yours can you identify?
Acknowledgment, Full Self-Expression, Reflective Thinking, Strategic Thinking, Efficiency, Dedication to Excellence. Also, I used us and we three times that can imply Collaboration, Inclusion, or Support.
When you hear a value in the conversation, give it a check in your notepad. If you get lost in the discussion, which tends to happen with good chemistry, when you leave, circle the values that made you feel connected and X those that did not.
Don’t make this a test, trying to hear all the values in a conversation; you’re just starting to listen for chemistry. Make this more a game of discovery; you will identify enough to give you a better understanding of what values connect you in an interview and which do not.
Enjoy your field trip to discover chemistry, and you will make a wise, values-informed, decision when considering a career opportunity.

Barney Feinberg began his career as a CPA learning the language of business. At the age of 25, his career journey took him to live in Asia for 7 years, where he was COO for a large clothing conglomerate. There he learned how to assimilate into a multitude of cultures, always with the purpose of building strong relationships at work. His career in executive placement began in 1994, and in 2002, he became a certified life coach with the Coaches Training Institute.