I love asking people to rank things on a scale of 1 – 10.
For instance, I may ask my daughter, “Honey, on a scale of 1 – 10, how much do you want to see a movie this weekend?”
Or I may ask an associate, “On a scale of 1 – 10, how strong is your interest in this new project?”
In the case of my daughter, she may say “5” and then I know it’s not super important. Her “5” tells me that it’s somewhat important but if she says “9 or 10” then, of course, I know her feelings are very strong on seeing a movie.
With my business associate, having his answer fall somewhere on this scale instantly tells me where his interest is with the new project. I could ask him to go into great detail how he feels about the project, or he could just give me a number.
Now, you may feel this is an overly simplified approach to understanding where people are at, but I disagree.
With this graduated scale, I get a very quick sense where someone stands on a subject. Any subject. A ‘2’ is considerably different than an ‘8’ and, for me, each one of these numbers gives me a pretty clear statement of how the person feels.
So how could this be applied to the hiring interview?
Well, here are some examples of how you could use it:
“Fred, I have two questions for you:
“On a scale of 1 – 10, how important to you is working with us here, this company? And…
“On a scale of 1 – 10, how important to you is having the paycheck we would provide?”
You could ask Fred these two questions back-to-back so that he could consider the answer to both and then reply.
“Sally, on a scale of 1 – 10, what is your view of a long term position here? Let’s define ’10’ as you’re interested in establishing yourself here for a number of years and ‘1’ as you’d jump ship in a few weeks if a potentially better offer came along.”
One more example:
“Alan, on a scale of 1 – 10, how important is it for you to believe in what our company produces and represents?”
1 – 10.
It’s a graduated scale.
Some of your prospects may give you a number that they feel you want to hear. But that’s true of any question in the hiring interview.
Then there will be those who give you a number that is their genuine view of things.
And that, my friend, is a nice dose of insight into your candidate.
As the law varies in each area, please check with an attorney to ensure you are applying these tips within the law.
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