History is filled with stories of clever people persuading others through the “gift of gab,” or the ability to convince others with eloquence. One such story gives us a tradition that endures today; “kissing the Blarney Stone.” It is said that in the 15th century, Cormac Laidir McCarthy was building Blarney Castle in Southern Ireland. During the construction, he needed to convince the courts in his favor. He claimed a dream instructed him to kiss the first stone he saw on his way to the courthouse. He did so, and at the hearing, he spoke with such grace and poise that he won the court case with ease. McCarthy was so enamored by the power of the stone, he installed it in the castle battlements. Today, tourists still clamber up Blarney Castle to kiss the stone and gain the “gift of gab.”

In a job interview, there are plenty of candidates that might seem like they’ve kissed the Blarney Stone and been granted the “gift of gab.” It’s up to employers to listen beyond their communication skills and self-confidence to find the true value the candidate can provide. Here are some helpful hints for uncovering the following characteristics.

  • Knowledge – Does the interviewee have a grasp of what they are being hired to do? Ask technical questions or give them a problem to solve.
  • Persistence – A question about commitments and passions can tell you if the candidate will finish
    the job.
  • Creativity – Listen for out-of-the-box and unexpected answers to questions.
  • Flexibility – How apt is the person willing to respond to requests or adapt to change? How often do they tend to answer emails?
  • Integrity – Listen for whether the person takes responsibility for failures as well as successes.
  • Reliability – Does the candidate value hard work? Are they motivated by job quality or speed in finishing the task?
  • Values – Guide the conversation to allow their belief system to come out. Do they have a quote or philosophy that they live by?
  • Genuineness – Does the interviewee feel comfortable in his or her own skin? Do they seem confident?

In the workplace, candidates and hiring managers alike may wish they had made the trip to Blarney Castle when it comes to interviews — a special kind of conversation. Both parties have much at stake and the ability to persuade is key. But it’s just as important to listen between the lines.

Become an expert at the interview table to find great talent — or call Priority Staffing and let us find your
next star. Happy hiring!