Traditionally, one of the hardest attributes to assess in a candidate, is the ability to work with other people. There is no point in asking them because they will always give you a positive answer and you are no closer to the truth.
Without a doubt, social skills in the workplace are one of the most important attributes for the new employee. It has been calculated that your success in life is based on these proportions. 85% of your success is due to your social ability and 15% is due to your IQ. The mistake which is frequently made is that the most intelligent people are recruited and it doesn't take long to discover that they are socially inept.
One of the ways of assessing their social skills is to take them around the office and introduce them to various people and see how they make conversation. This will show you how at ease they are in meeting people for the first time. It will also show you if they are nervous and unable to make conversation and build rapport.
The other way of assessing their social skills is a little bit more sneaky but very effective. Arrange the interview around lunchtime. Provide a couple of sandwiches and say that you've been held up with an important project. Ask them if they would like to eat lunch and have a coffee in the lunch room.
Prior to this, you will have advised the staff who are going to use the lunch room that you will be bringing in a candidate to have lunch. Ask your staff to evaluate the person based on likability and how they would feel about working with them. You may even wish to provide them with the checklist to be completed after lunch. This has a twofold effect. Firstly, your existing staff are asked their opinion which will make them feel good. Secondly, you will get the opinions of a number of people to match against your own.
Later on in the afternoon, debrief the staff in the lunch room to see how they evaluated the candidate. Compare those evaluations with your own assessment of the person's social skills. When you try this technique, don't be surprised if some of the candidates fail miserably. Those candidates that shine in this area will be easier to train, more cooperative and much more team orientated.
Follow this up with a phone call to one of their nominated references and ask this question, "If you had a magic wand what would you change about this person?" The answer may give you a strong indication of whether or not you should contemplate employing the person.
PLMitchell is a consultant and trainer. You will be amazed at the improvement in your interviewing skill and your results after reading this book. Go to his website NOW and download your FREE no obligation booklet on interviewing. This will entitle you to purchase a copy of his e-book: The Key to Interviewing at a specially reduced price. Go NOW to [http://www.thekeytointerviewing.com/]http://www.thekeytointerviewing.com/.