As Mel Kleiman stated in his article, Hiring for Talent vs. Skills or Experience, assume you need open heart surgery. Would you like to have it performed by someone who hadn’t learned anything new about heart surgery procedures in the last year? More than likely not, right!?As Kleiman recommends, this is why it is no longer wise to hire for skills, experience, or even education – it’s really about hiring talent.So, what‘s the difference, you might ask? A skill is the ability to do a particular task, like the ability to drive a truck or design a building or fly a plane or cut hair. All of these are skills. Talent is the ability to learn new skills and to improve upon existing skills.Here are some interview questions that will give some insight into an applicant’s talents:
What was the last thing you learned and how have you applied it?
How do you like to learn?
Give me an example of a situation where you did not know how to handle a particular problem. What action did you take? Why ?
What would you like to learn more about? Why?
In your present or last job, how long did it take for you to feel like an expert in your role? How much did you have to learn? How did you tackle it? What were the most difficult aspects of the job to master? Who helped you?
Let’s assume for a moment I hire you and you start in two weeks. During that time, I get called out of the office on urgent business and am not available to support you for the next month. What are you going to do to get yourself up to speed?