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Interviewing is part science – part art, but mostly art.

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 After all, you and I have standard questions we like to ask when we’re interviewing, and the candidate has some good standard responses they like to give us.  But, the key to the interview is uncovering the truth – right?  So here’s a tip that might help you uncover what’s really happening with the candidate.

Reversing is the art of answering a question with a question.  Research indicates it takes three responses to the same question before you actually hear something resembling the truth from people.  So, you must ask your question…validate the answer by agreeing with the sentiment of the response, and connect to another question based on whatever the candidate replied to you:  Here’s an example:

Interviewer:  So…I see you were only at ABC Company for (9) months – why so short?

Interviewee:  Well…I don’t think the job was challenging enough for me, and one of my attributes is I like to be challenged

 Interviewer:  Well…that makes sense…I feel the same way in a job.  What did your boss say when you said you weren’t being challenged enough?

Interviewee:  I really didn’t say anything to her about it

 Interviewer:  I see…I might have felt uncomfortable too telling that to my boss. How did you handle it then?

Interviewee:  I didn’t really.  You see, after I got my (6) month review that wasn’t very good, I just shut down

See where this is going?  What happened between the first responses where the answer sounded like a positive, to the third answer that tells us this could be a bad hire.  By accepting, and validating, the candidate’s answers in the beginning, I made him more comfortable telling me more about what the truth really is.

Interviewing is part science – part art, but mostly art.  Our attendees to our Sandler Management Sessions learn a much deeper way to cut the risk when you make a hire.  Maybe you should check it out and see whether it could work for you?

 Learn how to effectively hire best-fit grads -- Free Interviewing Guide

Ed Schultek

Founder and Managing Partner

Sandler - Peak Sales Performance

Learn more about Ed at


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