The Best Predictor Of Future Employee Behavior Is…

By John Whiting, - In Leadership

Picture of two judo fighters starting match and one lasting out at the other

The Best Predictor Of Future Employee Behavior Is… Employee Behavior Today.

Do not trust what people say. Trust what people do. If you are hiring someone who says she is a great programmer and has the degrees to prove it, give the candidate a programming problem and ask the person the logic behind what she would do to solve it.

If the person is a multi-tasker, give the person a case where seven issues need to be handled in the next hour. What is the logic the person uses to select what is to be dealt with and when. How does the candidate explain the rationale for the tradeoffs made?

If the person needs good interpersonal skills, give the candidate a small case of a problem between people. How would the candidate diagnose the problem and what actions would be taken.


The first program is called “Espoused.” These are my values, ideas, and philosophy: I am “firm but fair,” I “treat others with respect.” I have an “open door policy,” etc. etc. This is what you hear in job interviews.

The second program is called “In Use.” These are what I actually do when facing a real problem.

The design of the old 386 Personal Computer was such that if you wanted top use MS Excel Spreadsheet, you had to disable MS Word. This is the best way to think about the relationship between In Use and Espoused.

There are some practical implications for leaders….

Image Credit: evarinaldiphotography



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