How to use DISC results during a hiring interview

How to Use DISC Results During a Hiring Interview

Every hiring manager knows it can be a daunting task to sift through resumes all day. Many recruiters use a benchmarking process to narrow down the talent pool and know in advance not only what kind of background and information they’re looking for, but also the type of personality best suited for the job at hand.

What happens when everything else matches ideally and you are in need of a strong "Peacemaker" style (SC-type personality), but your candidate is showing as a "Contemplator" (SCD personality combination)? You may be also intrigued by the additional value this extra "dominance" in their personality can bring to your organization down the road.

Here are a few suggestions of Do’s and Don’ts, and questions you may want to ask your potential applicants during the interview process to achieve a better understanding of their strengths. Based on the outcome, you will be able to support your decision-making process with transparency and tact when dealing with an "SCD" or any DISC personality style.

Take the first few minutes of the interview to get to know your candidate. Do not forget to make them feel comfortable and ask some of these standard interview questions:

  • Why are you interested in this position? This job aside, what is important to you in life? Let them talk about their life a bit.
  • Do you have any outside projects that might get in the way of your work at this time?
  • Do you consider yourself a leader? If so, when and how does your inner leader shine through?
  • What is important to you when working with an organization?
  • Tell me how you deal with stressful environments and other people who may cause this stress in the workplace?
  • How do you feel about working alone? Are you self-motivated? Do you thrive in a workplace where others interact on a daily basis?

After this introductory phase, get into a deeper, behavior-focused interview:

Be blunt, straightforward, and to the point.

Do: Ask, "Do you feel this position will offer you enough growth and challenge? We may find a better role for you within our organization in the future as I feel you would be a great asset and potential leader."

Do Not (say): "This position requires someone a little less ambitious. How do you feel about taking on this position temporarily or on a per-project basis?"

Ask them to be more subtle in their daily activity than they are used to.

Do: Ask, "Would you be okay with taking a more backseat role on a day-to-day basis?"

Do Not (say): "I understand you tend to take charge when necessary, but would you be able to restrain from this a bit – even at times where it can be almost difficult to just sit back and let someone else do the job?"

Ask them to expand their attention span, and explain why this is necessary.

Do: Ask, "Can you be sure not to cut corners in getting the job done?"

Do Not (say): "I understand you love solving problems, but we need to be as thorough as possible in this position. Do you think your amazing ability to find those shortcuts may prevent us from notating all the nitty-gritty details necessary for administrative and legal purposes?"

Reiterate your stance and make sure they know you are interested in giving them a chance but don’t want to stifle their nature.

Do (say): "The daily tasks of this position require someone who will focus entirely on these tasks alone, which will be extremely detailed in your daily operations. Can you see yourself committed to one task at a time?"

Do Not (say): "When I speak about this position being less adventurous than you may be used to dealing with, I want to clarify you will be engaged in many tasks that may seem monotonous in nature. How do you see yourself dealing with repetitive tasks?"

Let them know you are extremely interested in them.

Do: Ask "How do you feel about working in this company for the time being? I mean, we really wouldn’t want to let you go and may have the perfect position for you opening up in the next few months."

Do Not (say): "I believe this position is a more docile role than you are used to. Nonetheless, this will allow you to get to know our company inside and out. And, I believe it might help you really do well if you should take on another role with our company down the road."

Have you come across similar challenges and want to learn more about applying DISC in your hiring process? Download a free Case Study on Predictive Hiring with PeopleKeys.


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Written by: Jessica N. Abraham

Jessica is passionate about “people” and helping them to evolve professionally. Her “I-style” personality trait has led her to 15+ years of service to public relations, social branding, and design strategy.