Picture this scenario:

You have just advertised for a position you are hiring for your team. Sitting on your desk is a stack of résumés you have received over the last week, in response to the recruitment ad.

As you look at the paper pile, you let out a sigh and think to yourself: Do I have to go through ALL of these résumés?

You then decide to skim through the résumés and pick out those that catch your attention. The first application did not look good to you. You put it in one corner of your desk and designate that as the “no-go” stack.

You do the same for the second résumé. This one catches your eye. It looks good. It is well–written, nicely formatted, it contains all the keywords you are looking for, and yes, the top right-hand corner of the résumé shows a photograph of a pleasant-looking applicant. You decide to put this one in the “interview” stack.

You go on to the third résumé, then the fourth, until you are through sorting and dividing the entire lot into either stack.

Finally, after 45 agonising minutes of scanning through the résumés, you are done. You heave a sigh of relief. Fortunately, you have only 10 résumés in the “interview” stack and you decide you will meet up with all of them to determine whom you will hire.

Over the next couple of days, the 10 chosen applicants are contacted and the interviews are arranged.

As you meet all the candidates, one of them comes across as articulate, warm, friendly, intelligent, and yes, good looking. She was able to answer, intelligently, all of the questions you posed and she seemed like someone you would be happy to have on your team.

Character references are checked and everyone seems to speak very highly of her. One week after the interview, you decide to offer this candidate the job. She accepts your offer without hesitation. You are ecstatic and can’t wait for her to come on board and join your team.


Fast forward six months

Man smashing punch into his laptop

You sit at your desk and wonder how on earth you ended up with a disaster on your hands. The perfect candidate you hired turned out to be a defensive worker.

She’s always putting the blame on the other team members each time something goes wrong and claiming credit for everything that goes well.

She screams at her team mates, throws her weight around, and takes advantage of the weaker members on the team.

She refuses to learn, and refuses to be coached. She wants things done her way and her way only. She believes she is right all the time and everyone else is a moron. In short, she’s a nightmare to work with.

All the other team members are up to their eyeballs with her. Morale is severely impacted and team performance is on a steep downhill slide.

Projects are getting delayed and customers are furious. The other team members are coming to you every few days to register their displeasure with you, some even threatening to quit the team if nothing is done about the situation.

You now have a serious challenge on your hands.


Sounds Familiar?


Have you ever experienced a similar situation as the one described above? Or perhaps you were in the exact same position as the hiring manager recently?

Hiring disasters play themselves out practically every day in many organisations across the globe. Hiring managers often find themselves in a fix a couple of months after appointing a candidate, who seemed so perfect during the interviews, to the job.

What went wrong? What was the problem? Was the problem with the human resource (HR) department, the hiring manager, the organisation, or the candidate?

What can organisations and hiring managers (like you) do to minimise your risks of making a bad hire and ultimately suffering the severe consequences and damages that could have been avoided in the first place?

The truth is many HR professionals and hiring managers are not trained in effective interviewing and selection skills.

But yet, they are expected to perform and deliver results as the gatekeepers for one of the most important processes in the organisation – interviewing, selecting, and hiring.

It has been said that most companies spend only 2 per cent of their time recruiting and 75 per cent of their time managing their recruiting mistakes.

This is largely due to the fact that most organisations have gotten it all upside down.

They invest so little time and resources upfront preparing, interviewing, and selecting candidates that they eventually end up spending a huge amount of time, energy, and resources managing their recruiting mistakes.


The Turning Point

The Turning Point

Between 2000 and 2013, while working for an American Multinational company, Steven was tasked with building a team for the Asia Pacific region.

It was a daunting challenge since the geographical territory he had to cover was huge – from Japan in the north to Australia in the south, and across from east to west from Singapore to India.  That area of coverage is actually bigger than the United States of America.

In addition, as a Hiring Manager, Steven was never formally trained to conduct effective job interviews and selection. And just like many hiring managers, he was tasked to hire without proper training.  And what he ended up with was a disaster on his hands – similar to the scenario just described above.

This single hiring disaster sparked the development of a whole new approach to interviewing and selection.

The myriad of cultures and languages within the Asia Pacific region added to the complexities and the challenges he had to overcome.

One questions Steven asked himself was, “How on earth am I supposed to cover all these territory with a small team of people?”

He had to ensure the region was well-covered in terms of providing day-to-day support, executing and implementing strategic projects, providing business support to the various locations within the Asia Pacific region, and at the same time ensuring the members of the team would not be over-loaded and stretched beyond their limits.


The Results

Achievements Unlocked

Here’s what Steven achieved over 10 straight years (yes, you read that right)

  • They had zero (0%) employee attrition rate (even in fast growing economies like China)
  • They achieved 100% employee engagement year-in and year-out
  • They delivered 100% of all their annual objectives set for the team

The team worked on countless number of projects, literally hundreds of projects between 2002 and 2013, one after another, and many times on projects that had conflicting timelines and deadlines, and very limited resources, often putting a huge strain on our team and manpower.

They slogged through late nights, weekends, and even public holidays, often on stretches that lasted several weeks. Most of them literally lived their lives out of a suitcase, traveling from one location to another, implementing and executing projects!

But no one on the team complained. In fact, everyone on the team enjoyed working together so much that the team delivered 100% of all the projects on-time and on-budget!

So how did Steven achieve those spectacular results?

Steven achieved those results through the use of The Agility-Focused Interviewing Approach™.


What is The Agility-Focused Interviewing Approach™

Person writing on a notepad

The Agility-Focused Interviewing Approach™ framework consist of the following:


1. Preparation – Knowing What Questions to Ask

Preparation is vital. You need to know exactly what questions you will be asking your candidate. It is vital that you are absolutely clear on what you are looking for in your candidates prior to the actual interview with your candidate.  This is because it will determine the types of questions you will be asking and how you will be asking the questions.

Unfortunately, most HR & Hiring Managers go into interviews without proper preparation.

Crafting of highly relevant and focused interview questions that are directly tied to the competencies you are looking for in your candidates.


2. Purpose – Understanding the Reasons Behind Your Questions

Besides knowing what questions to ask, you also need to understand why you are asking the questions.

Knowing the reasons behind the questions demonstrates that you understand your team’s working dynamics and that you know exactly what attributes you are looking for, and why you are looking for those attributes, and how those attributes will strengthen your team.

Unfortunately, many ask questions without fully understanding why the questions are needed, and how the questions they ask fit into the overall picture of what they are looking for in their candidates.

3. Process — How to Ask the Questions

Contrary to popular belief, successful interviewing and selection does not always depend on what questions you ask or the types of questions you ask. It is the use of highly effective follow-up questions that will elicit the minutest details from your candidates.

The use of highly effective, focused and targeted follow-up questioning can make the difference between finding the right person and ending up with a disaster on your hands.

Through the use of highly targeted, effective and relevant interview questions and rigorous follow-up questioning, Steven was able to suss out the right candidates from the wrong ones with up to 90% accuracy.



Even if you are already schooled in Competency-Based Interviewing or the Behavioural-Event Interviewing, The Agility-Focused Interviewing Approach™ will complement and enhance the effectiveness of both Competency-Based Interviewing and Behavioural-Event Interviewing techniques.


You can find out more about the Agility-Focused Interviewing Approach™ workshop here.