Answer: Linking Corporate Values into Your Interview Questions eliminates bias

I posed the question to a room of over 400 corporate executives and the results shocked me when I first asked it. Now when I ask the question, the results just make me …. Sad.

“Please raise your hand if you have had any formal interview training at any time in your career, other than what not to say in an interview”.  Three hands were raised. 3 out of over 400 people! 

And we wonder why hiring is “hard”. Guess what, It is not so hard for companies like Amazon who, from the beginning, have structured and trained their people HOW to effectively interview people. This is why they have always been a talent magnet, and not because they pay well. 

3 out of 400 people! This was a major a-ha moment for me and it should be one for you! 

Imagine the impact your company will have on this planet when you and your people get really good at hiring.

Today we discuss:

  • The importance of linking values to interviewing
  • How to set up and execute a values driven interview

Challenge today?

  • Talk about bias elimination 

    • cannot happen until interview questions are designed to extract evidence
    • The content of the interview cannot be left up to chance
    • The fate of each interviewee is determined in the first 15 minutes at most. Sometimes in the first 5 minutes….. All based on bias 
  • 51% chance that your decision is wrong
    • Unchallenging, unimpressive interviews only attract people who are there for the paycheck
    • Talented people (A-players, change makers & high performers) do NOT want to work for yahoos! 
    • Informal, unstructured & unprepared interviews make you look like a yahoo.
    • Offer turn downs are at an all time high

Why is this important to the company?

  • One word: AMAZON

    • Leadership principles (company values) are what drives decision making 
    • Customer Obsession
    • Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.
    • Hire and Develop the Best
    • Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. They recognize exceptional talent, and willingly move them throughout the organization. Leaders develop leaders and take seriously their role in coaching others. We work on behalf of our people to invent mechanisms for development like Career Choice.
  • Talent is drawn toward excellence

How do we implement values driven interviewing? 

  • Clearly write down your company values

    • Founders- this is you & your values 
    • As you ad people, reassess at least bi annual- especially before hiring ANYONE  
  • Develop Values
    • Clear definition of what the values means to the company
    • What attributes characterize each value
    • Measurables (how does a person live the value in their day to day life?
    • Sample exercise

Value #1 Dignity

Definition: Treating yourself and others with respect & courtesy




Dept Head




Non judgemental


Respect for others

Self esteem- elevation


Stands tall



Treat as equals



*** Empowering others

*** Respect for others

*** Non-Judgemental

  • Build interview Question Library

    • Behavioral questions designed to bring evidence of how people “show up”
    • "Tell me about a time...." or “Describe a time when….” or “Outline a time where….” or  "Give me an example of..." 
    • Questions must be Indirect & not obvious to the interviewee 
    • Evidence to support Attributes 
    • Support / follow up question flow

Value #1 Dignity 


*** Empowering others 

*** Respect for others 

*** Non-Judgmental 

  • Tell me about a time you helped elevate the performance of one of your teammates (Empowering Others) 

    • How did you learn of the issue? 
    • What were the events that led to this performance being important to you? 
    • How much time do you dedicate to the cause? 
    • How do you feel you could make more of a difference? 
    • What makes this important to you?  
    • What was the outcome? 
  • Give me an example of a time you stood up for a person you didn't know (Respect) 
    • What steps did you take? 
    • How did this affect the other person? 
    • What made this action important to you? 
  • Describe a really uncomfortable work situation that needed to be addressed that was personal to the other person? (Non-Judgmental) 
    • What were you asked to do? 
    • How did it make you feel? 
  • Reinforcement & Training
    • Live your values
    • Make it a language by which decisions are made (like Amazon)
    • Teach everyone who interviews, how to extract evidence
    • Capture data - training & compliance purposes 

Key Takeaways -Value:

  • Invest the time to build out your corporate values - the Payoff will be HUGE 
  • Take the next step and connect them to your interviewing
  • Train your people! Part of their job is to other high performers so give them the tools to do so

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This show is proudly sponsored by Criteria Corp:

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