Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - What Influences Behavior

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Great article and I can definitely relate to finding the passion in job candidates.

A few year ago, I interviewed a woman for a Digital Account Manager - I was the last interviewer. She'd already spoken with three members of our digital team and looked exhausted. I asked her a few job/technical questions before asking her what she was passionate about in life. She told me she was a college dance minor and hadn't paid much attention to it since graduating. I asked her to talk about its importance in her life; you could literally feel the passion she felt for dance.

Was I interviewing her for a dance position? Of course not. But after four interviews, it was clear she could do the job. It's often hard to gauge passion in a formal interview environment at the risk of the candidate feeling they come across as 'weak' (for both men and women).

I'm 32 and consider this a 'generational' approach. However, in her extended answer (15 minutes) I think I learned more about her professional potential than my fellow team members interviewers - I knew why she'd be a good fit. At the end of our time, she actually apologized for her 'tangent'. I told her it was exactly what I wanted to hear. Since then, she's become one of the most valuable account managers we've ever had.

I realize this doesn't apply across the board or in all industries or positions. Yet there there is something to be said about those who are passionate about things outside of, and apart from, work.

Again, great article and I always enjoy reading what you post!

My take is that he was saying what he thought the recruiters wanted to hear. They seemed pleased in their non verbal and verbal feedback during the interview. They did not seem keen on getting to know him, aside from some surface data points, like if he's married, why he's looking, etc. Just another candidate, you know? It is the rare recruiter who gives a damn. Even more so today. To me, it will be the brand to let him or whoever they hire down. They have people jump through hoops to get in, and once in, they discover it was all like a Hollywood set, not much substance behind the claims.

Thank you for signaling the typo. Another late night post.

When I saw this blog article email in my inbox this morning, I was quickly drawn into it. I wanted to know what happened inside a Starbucks.

Then as I got into reading it, I was really intrigued. Valeria, I was fascinated by the answers the interviewee gave. That person is under some social pressure to parrot to the interviewers the more professional responses like, "I want increasing levels of responsibility."

The interviewers hopefully can peel away, and tease out from the interview the really genuine answers, and find out if there is any love and passion.

And then in the end, it made sense that if the interviewers don't tease out the values consistent with the brand culture then there is a risk they're hiring someone who on paper looks great, and maybe a smart person, but won't live up to the customer expectations as the brand promises.

By the way, I think you mean "If you're on Twitter all day, or reading certain blog posts all the time, you will begin to think and write thaT way."

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Conversation Agent

  • Since 2006, Conversation Agent focuses on business, technology, digital culture, and human behavior. At Conversation Agent LLC, I help organizations and brands that want to build better experiences tell a new story.


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