Talent Interview


The purpose of the talent interview is to ascertain whether the candidate’s recurring thought patterns, feelings or behaviour fit the job.

In a talent interview setting, the most effective way of discovering a person’s talent is by allowing him or her to reveal himself or herself by the choices he or she makes. To verbally model what will face the candidate on the job behaviourally is the essence of the talent interview. How a person consistently responds, in real life, to the myriad of situations that confronts him or her daily will determine the respective level of performance.

To start off with the talent interview, it is pertinent to ask open-ended questions that encourage the candidate to choose his or her own path among multifarious directions. Such questions include: how closely, from your own point of view, should people be supervised? And what excites you about selling? The spontaneous answers or stance will be the most predictive of the candidate’s future behaviour. After asking the questions, it is important to remain silent and allow the candidate to answer the questions as his or her mental filter dictates. Something powerfully predictive of a candidate‚Äôs future behaviour is the unaided response to open-ended questions. Innate assertiveness and love of breaking the ice are vital talents required of salespeople, while great teachers love to be doubted and see the doubters as students with an active, inquisitive mind.

A recurring past behaviour is a good predictor of future behaviour. A candidate’s coming up with a specific example, highlighting the desired behaviour, with only on prompt is a good sign that such a behaviour is a recurring one.

The talent interview should also be tailored to unearth small clues to talent. Such clues include a yearning towards certain activities and a feeling of flow while performing the activity, rapid learning, a great sense of satisfaction derived from performing certain roles.

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