If You Want To Know How Someone Will Behave In The Future, Look To How They Behaved In The Past

Early in my business career I attended a seminar on the personnel selection process called "Patterned Interviews". The thrust of the process was to take a complete inventory of what a person had done in the past and let that history tell a story. For example, if a man had been an eagle scout, president of his class in high school, student body president in college, and president of the Junior Chamber of Commerce a few years later, it is not difficult to project his rising to lead any organization. On the negative side if a man has changed jobs within a year for his last nine jobs, how long do you think he will stay with you if hired?

The police have known this for years. They call it "modus operandi". If a burglar enters a house through the second story window, he will keep it up, over and over, until he is caught. If a burglary is reported where the entry was through the second story window, they check the files of all known criminals until they find a match on the modus operandi, and often find their man.

Most issues in our life are not as clear as these examples, but it is well worth the time to check the history of someone you plan to spend a lot of time with.

What pattern do you want displayed when you are interviewed?

©  2002 John D. Toellner, All Rights Reserved