MaturityOne of the key challenges in any interview process is to assess if the candidate in front of you has the degree of maturity necessary for the position. We usually find it not too difficult to assess technical competence, communication skills and things like confidence and flair. Most interviewing skills do include assessment of personal attributes but maturity does not figurecourses talk about assessing technical, functional and personal  and But innate maturity is what sets one candidate apart from another when all other things are equal

But how does one go about assessing maturity? It’s not visible and sometimes hidden deep within someone’s personality. There are some personality tests and psychometric tools but I have never been a great fan of these. I believe that a skillful interviewer asking some specific probing kinds of questions can figure out if the person in front of them is the real deal or not.

Here are some questions to ask:

1- Decision Making

Ask the candidate an open-ended question on how they make decisions and to describe a difficult decision that was made. Don’t help, just wait for the answer

2- Controversy

Ask the candidate to speak about something controversial – like “your manager asks you to go and give a bribe…”. Does the candidate just talk about ethics and how honest he/she is or also talks about a pragmatic way of getting out of that situation tactfully?

3- Handling Complexity

Ask a difficult, tricky question with an easy one. Check which question is the candidate more comfortable to answer.

4- Self Awareness

Ask the candidate to describe their one big weakness and one big strength.

5- Self Development

Ask the candidate to describe their personal and professional growth through the jobs or roles they have done so far. Is the answer mainly self-praise or does it reveal a genuine quest for improvement and development?

6- Operating Outside the Comfort Zone

Ask the candidate to describe one example of what he/she has done something outside his/her comfort zone. How did they feel about this?

7- Superficial or Substantive?

Finally, ask yourself what percentage of the candidate’s responses was canned/superficial/jargon and what percentage was substantive/forthright. Also, don’t forget to ask the references if they consider the candidate to be a mature one. Don’t elaborate or define maturity. Let them respond in their own way.