Recently, I have been approached by several practice owners and practice managers asking if I can suggest some “good” interview questions. The practice owners and managers tell me similar stories about how they have recruited team members who have performed well in interview and when they join the team it is a very different matter. One principal has told me that they will never recruit another associate because of their experiences. Recruitment processes are supposed to ensure that you filter out the wrong applicants and identify the right ones, so why is this process failing dental practices so often?
A common saying is,
“If you want a better result you must learn how to ask a better question.”
Would you agree that being able to find better members of the team, more quickly, would save you much time, money, and stress? You could get on with the business of delivering dentistry and running your practice. Instead, you could call a halt to endless interviews, new staff inductions, training, never ending expenses and change, and embrace the feeling of certainty recuriting the ideal team member first time.
Experience shows, it is not the questions that are being asked that are failing dentists and practice mangers; it is that you have not been taught how to listen to the applicant’s unconscious drivers, which tell you way more the conscious answer to the question. Just as every individual has a unique fingerprint, they also have a unique personal behaviour profile that is always identifiable through their language patterns. We call this their language and behaviour profile. What difference would it make to you, if you could identify and decode your applicant’s language and behaviour patterns?
Recruiting the right team member is less about the questions you ask; it is much more about listening to the answers that are provided. I invite you to consider an interview selection process as a game of snap. You have, in your ‘hand’, the desired criteria and ARSE* that you are looking for in your perfect new team member. They have in their hand their unique language and behaviour profile. When the applicant’s unconscious answers reveal a match between your criteria and their language and behaviour profile, BOOM you have found the right person.
For example, are you looking for your new recruit to your team to be more comfortable:
a) Working alone, undisturbed and are responsible for setting their own tasks and priorities? – Independent worker
b) In control and like to work with others around with defined roles? Proximity worker
c) As part of a team, shared responsibility, able to discuss and considers situations from another’s perspective, yet will prefer not to do tasks alone. Collaborative worker
d) A mixture
The following questions will give you the information you are looking for when you know what to listen for
· Tell me about a situation at work where something made you unhappy/violated a criterion you require. What didn’t you like about it?
· Tell me about a situation at work when something made you happy/honoured a criterion you are looking for. What did you like about it?
· Tell me about something new that you introduced at work.
Listen carefully for the pronouns, adverbs frequency and order they are used and what is not said.
Independent workers will tend to use I, me, my, alone no mention of others
E.g. I introduced a membership plan into the practice.
Proximity workers will use I, and suggest the presence of others, group, they
E.g. I designed the membership plan, trained the team, and they discussed it with patients.
Collaborative worker will say, we us, our, together, will make the presence of others explicit.
E.g. We decided that we should have a membership plan, we discussed it, decided on what each of us needed to do, together we designed it and then offered it to our patients.
“If you want a better result you must learn how to listen for a better answer.”
Once you have mastered decoding language and behaviour patterns in interviews where else would you use it?
Define your team member by their ARSE* and criteria
Craft questions that will identify a match or mismatch
Listen carefully to the answers
If you would like to know more about how to recruit the perfect team member or how to integrate language and behaviour profiles into your practice call me on 07989 757 994 to discuss how to do this or e mail Jane@IODB.co.uk
A = Attitudes
R= Results and resources
E = Education and experience