Filling positions takes time and money. The last thing you want to do is spend valuable resources to discover that the individual you’ve hired is not going to be exceeding—or even meeting—expectations anytime soon. Not to mention, hiring a dud can affect more than just the immediate position; a poor performing employee can also bring down the effectivity and morale of the entire team, potentially even having an impact on your company’s bottom line. But how can you tell if someone is going to be a high performer? 

Remember, just because someone has all of the required background and skills doesn’t mean that they will necessarily be successful on the job. Beyond education and job experience are a number of personality characteristics that can be far better indicators of performance. During the interview process, look to hire qualified individuals that display these four traits. 


This is arguably the most important personality trait when it comes to job performance. If someone is personally motivated, they are more likely to take actionable steps in order to complete the job in an effective and efficient way. Proactive employees aren’t sitting around waiting for their next assignment, they look for opportunities to help others when their own work is completed. Without this particular personality trait, it really doesn’t matter how knowledgeable or qualified an individual is, you will still have to light a fire underneath them each step of the way. 


An individual who has the ability to think outside of the box and problem solve in unique and creative ways is another trait that can be just as important as previous work experience or education. Try and get a feel for how creative a potential employee is during the interview process; give them a tricky scenario and then ask them for a couple different ways that they would approach it. Keep in mind that creativity is something that employers must continually foster and encourage in the workplace. 


A good work mentality will go a long way when it comes to the productivity of both the individual as well as the team as a whole. Positivity yields productivity, whereas negativity is met with stagnancy and decline. In the hiring process, listen to how an individual describes past work and challenges; those who have a positive viewpoint are more likely to approach new projects in the same way. 


Being able to effectively communicate is necessary to any relationship, be it personal or professional. During interviews, look for individuals that are able to effectively express themselves—and who ask smart and relevant questions. This second part is key, as you want someone who knows when to speak up and ask for help. 

High Job Performance Starts with the Interview 

Education and past job experience are important, of course. But there are other qualities that you should also be actively screening for. By looking for a new hire that has these four personality traits, you’ll ensure that a high performer is on the job! 


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