23 May I’m All EARS When It Comes to Hiring:
Past Performance is a Predictor of Future Success
Listening is important…however, this post is about a different set of ears. In this case, EARS™ is a simple method for asking focused interview questions that uncover relevant performance behaviors.
EARS stands for Event, Activity, Result, Support. These are the four components of a complete candidate response to interview questions.
Here’s an example of applying EARS to a common interview question:
- “What is your greatest strength?”
- Event: Please tell me about a time this strength helped you complete a project.
- Action: What actions did you take?
- Result: What was the outcome of the project?
- Support: What documentation regarding this project can you share? (performance appraisals, email kudos, etc.)
Here’s another example:
- “How do you overcome sales objections?”
- Event: Please tell me about a time you overcame an objection to make a sale?
- Action: What did you do?
- Result: What was the outcome?
- Support: Please share any documentation. (sales reports, awards, performance appraisals, emails, etc.)
Candidate responses can be weighed along the following dimensions:
- Did the candidate correlate their actions to results?
- How complete were responses? (actions but no results, for example.)
- How specific were responses?
- How recent?
- Did they have a variety of events?
The more specific and complete the response…the bigger the EARS!
Hiring has a tremendous impact on organizations, both positive and negative. An unsuccessful hire can cost a company thousands of dollars, lost time, and damage morale. Therefore, it is essential to maximize interview effectiveness.
The goal of the EARS method is to keep both the interviewer and candidate focused on specific actions and outcomes. After all, past performance is always the best predictor of future success.
With time, using the EARS method will become second nature, and improving the ability to uncover and assess performance behaviors will ultimately lead to more successful hires.
EARS™ is an interview system developed by Chill Strategic Partners.