Hiring employees that can learn effectively is essential for any company. Here are 3 things you can do in the interview to spot those good learners.
When solving a tough problem at an innovative company, no employee ever knows the right answer from the beginning. New problems require new solutions. The companies that win in the 21st century are the companies whose leaders can adapt, evolve, and think outside the box.
That’s why it’s critical for managers to hire employees who know how to learn. A proven ability to learn is an art form that goes way beyond a college GPA. Good learners are resourceful, persistent, and inquisitive. They’re comfortable with uncertainty and are able to turn chaos into order, so that they can make quick decisions.
This is why I’ve strived to build a Brainscape team that is as passionate about learning as I am. Not only do we emphasize good employee traits like “fast learner” in our job descriptions and initial outreach, but we specifically vet candidates for their learning abilities during the interview process itself.
What if You Don’t Have Any Work Experience?
If you don’t have any working experience, it may feel impossible to answer certain interview questions.
There is no need to feel that way. Even if you don’t have any work history, there will be experiences from your everyday life that show the skills the interviewer is looking for.
If you have any experience in a voluntary role (charity work, church volunteering, school PTA), you can use this experience to answer interview questions.
If you haven’t done any voluntary work, there are still experiences from life that you can use when answering questions.
For example, if you have children, you could say:
Identifying Key Soft Skills in the Hiring Process
So, how can you identify a candidate’s soft communication skills? Unfortunately, someone with poor or underdeveloped soft skills can harness enough superficial charm to convince a hiring manager they possess these attributes in spades. But being able to put on an act in a short interview isn’t the same as using soft skills in the workplace. In these cases, the manager might not see the truth until it’s too late.
According to Forbes, these are a few of the key soft skills all employers want workers to possess:
Apart from the right experience and qualifications, employers want workers with good soft communication skills, the ability to work well in a team, good problem-solving skills, good time management and planning skills, the ability to take criticism, and a strong work ethic. Anyone being considered for a people (versus project) management position should also possess coaching, mentoring, and influencing skills.
Skills the Interviewer Is Looking For
Every question asked during an interview will be there for a reason. Even though it seems obscure, the interviewer will be looking for particular skills or attitudes.
When asking, ‘Tell me about a time when you had to learn something quickly’, the interviewer is looking for:
Although many interviewers will use the same style of questions when meeting potential candidates, the wording may sometimes change.
Examples of questions that sound different but are looking for similar skills are: