Show Your Work When Interviewing Candidates

The phrase show your work, for many, probably dredges up memories of filling sheets of paper to answer long-form division or algebra equations back in school.  If the answer to the question seemed fairly evident, students would simply skip the solving process altogether and give the answer.  In many instances, though, teachers wouldn’t give full credit, instead writing show your work! in red ink.

What does this have to do with interviewing?  For the same reason the teacher wants to see the student’s work, candidates want to understand that their prospective leader knows the necessary steps to take to solve any given situation or problem.

One of the biggest reasons a team member will begin looking for new employment is if they don’t have faith in their leader’s decision-making skills.  There is no better way to show your prospective candidate that you’re the right leader than by showing your work, especially when discussing the common situations or tasks your team faces every day.

While this might seem like common sense, we often hear of veteran managers not thoroughly explaining their process, leaving candidates unsure whether they’ve found the right person to lead them in the next phase of their career.  This could have easily been resolved if they’d taken a few more minutes to show their work.

While the days of showing your work in math class are long gone, every candidate conversation provides an opportunity to show your work, show off  your leadership skills, and gain the confidence of every candidate you meet.