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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Interviewing Masterclass, November 22, 2011
This review is from: Hiring for Attitude: A Revolutionary Approach to Recruiting and Selecting People with Both Tremendous Skills and Superb Attitude (Hardcover)
"You'll notice that a lack of skills or technical competence only accounted for 11 percent of new-hire failures. When a new hire was wrong for a company it was due to attitude, not lack of skills... Our study showed that somebody was a bad hire for attitudinal reasons 89 percent of the time." Mark Murphy, page xii.

The author's introductory quote and supporting research may surprise you; however, the candidate trait of "attitude" has rarely been emphasized by hiring authorities or career experts. Until now. This book will show you a much-needed contrarian perspective. You will learn how to make better decisions for yourself, clients or organizations regardless if you are a job candidate or hiring authority. The "soft" skill of attitude has rarely been the focus of hiring decisions over the more "hard" skills such as educational pedigree, actual job experience and technical proficiency. Mr. Murphy paves an important road in this discussion. Especially as the world has become more flat, and job candidates, and those who recruit or hire them, need something extra to flourish in a global economy.

Organized Format with Common-Sense Advice

There is a helpful introduction, seven chapters, a brief conclusion along with a detailed index. This is a relatively short book (209 pages) which keeps you focused on its excellent content. The author's writing style is informative and entertaining. Most of all, he describes common-sense scenarios and provides real-life examples. From an amusing hiring strategy at Southwest Airlines (the Brown Shorts which serve as reference point throughout the book), to a more serious one at LifeGift (a company that recovers organs and tissue for those who need transplants), which demonstrates a proper balance.

An Interviewing Masterclass

One of the most salient features of this book was the emphasis on how to ask questions that elicit beneficial responses. Most of us have been on both sides of the hiring equation, and have endured or were asked the wrong questions of little predictive quality. Many recruiters have not been taught how to ask questions that save their firms/clients from making an expensive hiring mistake. Mr. Murphy teaches you what to ask and what to avoid. More importantly, how to ask open-ended questions that draw out your subject instead of leading ones that produce scripted responses.

You will become a better interviewer after reading this book because the author makes you analyze the purpose behind your questions: "One of the most fundamental tests of the effectiveness of an interview question is the extent to which it helps differentiate between high and low performers. Any interview question that doesn't distinguish between these two groups is the equivalent of giving a college exam on which every student automatically scores an A." Page 43

Notable Quotes

"My company, Leadership IQ, tracked 20,000 new hires over a three-year period. We found that 46 percent of new hires failed in one way or another, 35 percent became middle performers, and only 19 percent went on to become legitimate high performers." Page 12

"Don't ask questions you can't fix." Page 32

"The purpose of an interview isn't to test recitation skills, but rather to accurately reveal how well a person will perform when working for you. 'Tell me about yourself,' 'what are your strengths?' and 'what are your weaknesses?' are worthless, think about the answers you usually get when you ask an applicant a question such as 'So tell me about yourself...' " Page 41

"Behavioral questions are only effective when they prompt a response that reveals the truth about both weaknesses and strengths." Page 44

"Problem-solver personalities simply can't bring themselves to think about a situation as a total failure. They need to keep trying and eventually solve it or at least salvage some useful lesson. And you will generally hear that underlying interpretation in the responses problem solvers provide, just as you'll hear the opposite in the answers from the problem bringers." Page 73

"... The single biggest reason that new hires fail is a lack of coachability." Page 80

"The high performer answers contain roughly 60 percent more first person pronouns (I, me, we) than answers given by low performers... Answers from high performers use 40 percent more past tense than answers from low performers... Low performers answers contain about 25 percent more positive emotions (happy, thrilled, excited) than low performer answers." Pages 127-131

"Most job ads sound more like the instruction manual to a VCR than they do a compelling sales pitch. And that's the problem. The high performers you want all have better opportunities... Most people who are going to notice that ad are the folks you don't want. The people sitting around, reading generic job ads, and responding to any and all with an e-mail blast of their resume." Page 148

"Imagine you're out on a date. Now, let's say you really want to win that date over... How do you think you should start out, by talking about yourself or by talking about your date? Almost everyone answers the question correctly. Of course, you talk about your date. But here's the shocker. In the recruitment world, another place you want to quickly capture the position attention of another person, almost everybody gets it wrong." Page 168

"According to our Global Talent Management Survey, employee referrals are the best source for hiring high performers." Page 177

It's All About Attitude

This book teaches many valuable lessons for hiring authorities, job applicants, recruiters and anyone who wants to elevate their personal or professional brand. As the author concisely ended the book, "It's about how to select for attitude, interview for attitude, recruit for attitude, assess peoples' attitude, and even teach attitude." Page 207

Please Note

A McGraw-Hill representative provided me with a complimentary review copy of this book. I was not monetarily compensated for the review by any party that would benefit from a positive analysis.
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