The interview is a mutual exchange of information. This requires both parties to engage in good questions to gain better understanding of one another. One of the big intangibles for both is Trust. But how do you measure or evaluate it?
I attended a presentation yesterday on Trust and Transparency delivered by Robert Whipple. He has just released his 3rd book, this one is called “Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind“. His presentation took a look at the elements that make up trust and what each one of us, leader or not, can do to improve our organization’s perceived level of trust.
These are the important measures of trust, according to Whipple:
- Solving problems
- Customer retention
- Morale and motivation
- Need for perfection
- Development of people
Each one can be used to explore and question the organization and individual. As you consider these measures, haven’t you been asked questions during an interview that assess your involvement with them? Is the interviewer aware of what they evaluating-the big picture, how do you contribute to the organization’s level of trust?
When you tell your STAR stories, do they support trust enabling actions? Whipple suggests these are the things leaders do to increase the level of trust.
- Advocate well
- Reinforce right behavior
- Act in the interest of others
- Follow up
- Admit mistakes
- Coach privately
- Have patience
- Explain paradoxes
- Let actions reflect values
- Don’t hide problems
Whether you are a leader or not, each of us has the opportunity to carry out these actions.
Finding the right cultural fit should be important to you. Frequently we become disenchanted with our job when there is a lack of fit. The big contributor to a company’s culture is trust. Working within an organization with low trust tends to produce dissatisfaction quickly. We sometimes say, I’ll know the right company when I find it. Starting by identifying a company that exhibits high levels of trust is usually a solid start.
As you interview, develop questions to test how well leaders are using the actions. Asking the interviewer situational questions can provide this insight.
- How do managers support their people. Tell me about a time when a manager supported a team member.
- When someone does the right thing, how is it recognized?
- How do managers prefer to communicate with the team? When someone presents an idea or suggestion, what has the outcome been?
- How has leadership communicated their mistakes in the past? Has their been a time when a decision has had to be overturned in the organization? How did that happen?
- When a manager provides feedback how does that occur? Can you give me an example of how management provides feedback to its team?
- On a scale of 1-10, one being low, could you rate leadership’s level of patience? Can you provide an example that demonstrates this?
- How has leadership communicated changes in business or problems?
- What are the real values of the organization? Can you provide an example of at time when these values were demonstrated?
- What support does a manager seek from the team? Has there been a time when leadership has asked for solutions from the teams?
It would be overwhelming to ask all these questions at once. Certain questions have a time and place and audience. Chose the correct venue and time to probe in these areas.