Sunday, October 24, 2004

Look Who's Talking: Louise Kursmark

Louise Kursmark touts behavior-interviewing when hiring to both applicants and firms.

Some experts predict that at the next uptick in the economy, disgruntled workers will waste no time leaving one job for another. To guide hiring professionals on how to make the right choice, Blue Ash resident Louise Kursmark co-authored with Lori Davila How to Choose the Right Person for the Right Job Every Time (McGraw-Hill; $14.94). The book offers hundreds of sample questions, a format for interviews and suggestions on how to ensure hirings are right for the company and applicant.

YOU BELIEVE IN BEHAVIOR-based interviewing, where applicants are asked to talk about their experience and work history.

The beauty of behavior-based interviewing is that there are no formula-based questions. The premise is to ask about what the applicant has done in the past and whether they can do similar things in the future.

IF THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN, SHOULD applicants flip questions around so they can talk about challenges and how they responded, that is, give a behavior-based response?

That is a terrific strategy, and I recommend that to all my clients. Because when you provide a specific example, and a behavior-based response is a specific example, what you're doing is taking your answer out of the realm of the theoretical - what I could do or what I would do - and you're making it this is what I did do in the past. That's making yourself much more memorable and much more credible.

ARE COMPANIES GOING TO SEE a river of people leaving in the months to come?

I don't know. Predictions are that there are unhappy employees who will jump ship when they sense that the employment market is better. I do know that all employers want to keep good people. The reason they have unhappy people might be because they didn't choose the right person. Maybe that person is not a good fit for the demands of the job or the environment of the work or the culture of the company. Behavior-based interviewing does make sure you are evaluating all these factors and you have a much higher likelihood of choosing a person who is going to be happy in the job.

We've provided 401 examples of behavior-based questions but once you understand the concept, you can adapt or adopt them for your own purposes.

John Eckberg

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