SOLUTIONS FOCUS IN JOB INTERVIEWS
A novel practice
Using Solutions Focus conversations in job interviews was until recently a new territory for me. The need to make a step in that direction arose a couple of years ago with a phone call. The owner of a business company, a long-term client of mine, asked whether I would be willing to meet a prospective employee who had already interviewеd with several managers of the company. By way of completing the process, they wanted me to meet her and see what the prospects might be for her settling down comfortably in her new work place and what potential she was going to demonstrate to “contribute to the constantly improving interactions in the company.”
Here I need to say that the company, since 2011, has been on a journey towards functioning as a solutions-focused company.
I did think twice before responding. I knew the company and its people well, was familiar with the challenges they were facing, and with their alignment on the need to make progress in the solution-focused way. In that respect, there was no hesitation. There was no hesitation either about the possibility of the encounter adding value to the candidate’s improved understanding of the difference that becoming a member of this company was going to make for her. The issue which bothered me was the evaluative component of the task, i.e. how I was going to handle our post-interview conversation with the company owner. At the time, I was not too sure about the ethical aspects of giving feedback to a third party and whether it was not a breach-of-confidence case between the interviewee and myself.
Giving it a go
In the end, I decided to give it a go because I knew I would be of help to the company and, also, there was a good chance that the candidate gets clearer about her development in that particular workplace. I was prepared to make this small step and see what transpired.
Since then, I have done over a dozen of final-stage job interviews for different companies. Every time the conversation flows differently but I inevitably get a sense of the conversations being of benefit for both the interviewees and the respective company.
By way of sharing the experience, my Solutions Focus colleague Biba Rebolj and myself are running a two-hour online workshop for HR experts and, more broadly, for people who want to get better in job interviewing situations on June 1, 14:00 CEST.