Insight News

Feb 10th

Feeling groovy at work

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jdesmondFeelin’ Groovy is an old song; ask an old person and they just might remember the catchy tune and the words: Slow down, you’re moving too fast.

Lately, I have been required to ask competency-based questions during dozens of interviews.  These questions aim to reveal a person’s strengths and weaknesses through their own descriptions of specific experiences.  My task is to ask about a situation, find out how the candidate approached the challenge, and then learn what they learned or took away from that event. 

These questions cover a wide swath of career territory.  Each candidate is unique, so their approaches vary, too.  However, when it comes to revealing lessons learned, there is a common thread that seems impossible to ignore: slow down.

Question #1:  Describe a time when you made a mistake and had to publicly correct it.  The stories vary, but the lesson learned is consistent across almost all candidates: slow down, avoid the mistake, double check the work before it goes out the door.

Question #2:  Describe a time when you had to do something you’d never done before.  The story could be about an unexpected promotion, a big project or covering for someone who didn’t show up to a conference.  The lesson learned?  Go slow, think it through, ask questions.

Question #3:  Describe a time when you had to provide negative feedback to someone.  The stories were about delivering performance reviews, discovering errors and arguing with a mother-in-law.  The lesson learned:  go slowly, don’t be rushed, take time to be aware of the other person’s reaction and hear their point of view.

When you face a challenging situation in work or in life, think forward to how you will look back on this event.  Apply the age-old lesson so many people learned the hard way:  Slow down.  It’s simple.  It’s effective.  And it is definitely groovy,

Julie Desmond is a recruiter with Express and Specialized Recruiting Group.  Write to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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