Wouldn’t it be great if every new hire had a positive attitude? Studies show that positive thinkers are more productive and resilient, in fact, the positive brain is 31 percent more productive than when the brain is negative, neutral or stressed. So how can you assess a candidate’s outlook and attitude? Ask them to describe an imaginary co-worker. Our perceptions of others – even ones that are made up – says a lot about what kind of person you really are, according to researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Those who envisioned co-workers as engaging in proactive behaviors or readily rebounding from failures were actually happier and more productive in their real-life work, the researchers found. The researchers were able to predict real-life work outcomes above and beyond other established measures by employing an interviewing technique called projective storytelling. Another way to gauge a candidate’s attitude is by observing their casual interactions. While they’re waiting for the interview, do they greet each other in the lobby? Are they polite and do they make eye contact? And instead of asking candidates about their skills, ask questions about their frame of mind and outlook. We all know that people can learn new skills, but they rarely change their attitude.
Leslie Stevens-Huffman is a business and careers writer based in Southern California. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the staffing industry and has been writing blog posts, sample resumes and providing sage career advice to the IT professionals in our Dice Community since 2006. Leslie has a bachelor’s degree in English and Journalism from the University of Southern California.
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