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Focused Interview

Getting to know more

The Who Interview will get you most of the way toward the right answer of who to hire. Conduct it in tandem with a colleague, and the two of you will have a rich dataset to work from.
We recommend one more step, the focused interview which will allow you to gather additional, specific information about your candidate. These interviews also offer a chance to involve other team members directly in the hiring process. Just be sure you don't make this another Who Interview.


The purpose of this interview is to talk about BLANK (fill in the blank with a specific outcome of competency, such as a person's experience selling to new customers, building and leading a team, creating strategic plans, acting aggressively and persistently, etc.)
What are you biggest accomplishments in this area during your career?
What are your insights into your biggest mistakes and lessons learned in this area?

After you ask each question, remember to
It is similar to the commonly used behavioral interview with one major difference: it is focused on the outcomes and competencies of the scorecard, not some vaguely defined job description of manager's intuition.

Double-checking the Cultural Fit

Be sure to include competencies and outcomes that go beyond the specifics of the job to embrace the larger values of the company.


First Solar, a rapidly growing maker of solar panels, found itself challenged by its own success. Its growth created a voracious appetite for A Players, but too many of the talented people who got inside the door couldn't handle the fast-paced culture of the company.
To address this challenge, the company created a cultural fit interview based on the focused interview framework. Mike Ahearn, First Solar's CEO, painted the big picture for us. "We are a fast-moving, aggressive company. We need people on our team who will never be satisfied with the status quo. They need to be results-oriented people who work towards continuous improvement. And they have to put safety first, build deep customer relationships, and recognize that people matter.
"We conduct at least one cultural fit interview for every candidate, using questions built around our cultural values. We find it works really well after the Who interview because the two interviews together ensure we hire people who are both capable of getting the job done and able to thrive in the First Solar culture."
This interview should take fourty-five minutes to one hour

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