1. Take a good history
In healthcare delivery, history-taking is the most important part of making an accurate diagnosis. With history alone, you can make an accurate diagnosis in over 80% of cases. The same is true of interviewing. People don’t change very much over time. That sounds pessimistic, I know. Perhaps we should say, people do change over time but at the same time, they often don’t. Don’t make a bet on a person hoping that person’s character will change. You have a higher chance of winning if you bet that a person who has already changed (and has a solid record of consistently staying changed) will continue to remain changed. If you want a husband who cleans the house, marry someone who already cleans his house now instead of someone who doesn’t clean his house now in hopes that he will change when you get married.
Good history taking skills during an interview will allow you to make an accurate prognosis of future behavior in an employee most of the time. If a person doesn’t have a good history of focus and commitment in the past, you can’t expect them to be different on your job. If a person has shown tendencies of being a quitter, don’t expect him to be different. That doesn’t mean that people can’t change or that these people are doomed. It only means it’s not wise or fair to expect from them what they haven’t shown that they can deliver. If such a person wants to do a free internship with you, for example, and you want an intern, and are willing to take a risk and give him a chance, you may allow him to get character training under your supervision. Then test him over time. If he shows that he is transformed, then trust him with more. People change, but before you make a big investment in a person, look for signs that they have changed rather than hoping that they will change when all the evidence says otherwise. Hiring someone hoping that they will change is not wise.
2. Choose an important partner like you would a spouse
It’s a big deal. You can have a team of one hundred people that is working well. Then you bring in just one bad apple and he will ruin the entire basket of your team and turn everything you’ve been working hard for up-side-down. You want to make sure it’s the right thing to do and that it’s a fit for both. The goal for both parties is a win-win relationship.