Tips For Identifying a Negative Employee During an Interview


Negativity is a contagion that, once introduced to an environment, is difficult to eradicate. So, how can you tell if a potential employee is going to bring that negative energy to your workplace? In the interview, you can ask some questions designed to get to the core of their personality to tell whether or not they’re going to react negatively or positively to any specific situation while at work. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Ask the toxic questions.

If you want to determine a toxic personality, ask toxic questions designed to see how they’ll truly answer. This isn’t to say you should be asking inappropriate questions, but set them up to see if they’ll fall back on negativity when they answer. For instance, ask them to tell you five things they disliked about their last job. It’s easy to answer just one, but how will they provide more?

Bring in the team.

It’s easy for someone to convince just one person they’re not a negative personality, but it’s much more difficult to convince a whole team. Everyone will have a different perception of the individual, and when you put those all together, you should have a pretty good picture of whether or not they will fit in.

Ask them to describe a difficult situation.

When someone is positive, they will describe a difficult situation with a focus on the outcome. They will want to share why this was a learning experience for them. But someone with a negative personality will focus solely on the bad things. Asking them to tell you a story about a difficult situation will give you this insight.

Ask about the future.

“Where do you see yourself in five years?” is a very common question. Don’t be afraid to ask it, but really pay attention to their answer. Do they have a clear and defined path? Do they seem to be struggling with what to say or give you an answer they think you want to hear?

Ask a forced negative question.

When you ask a positive question, you’ll get a positive result. But what happens when you ask a negative question? Ask things like, “why shouldn’t I hire you?” You’ll see quickly how they respond or if they tend to have a negative bent to their thought processes along the way.

Do you have the right questions to ask to determine a candidate’s positivity?

At Professional Staffing Group, we work closely with our client companies to help them find the right candidates for their open positions. Contact us today so we can connect you to top talent in your area.

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