Mastering Interviews With Proven Methods of Evaluation

How to dig deep on candidate evaluation with tools like Predictive Index, Topgrading techniques, and value-aligned behavioral questions.

Linda Ratner
July 21, 2023

Uncovering the ideal candidate is akin to discovering a rare gem. In today's post-pandemic landscape, where virtual interviews reign and the quest for top talent is fierce, your interview process needs to be sharp. Here, we’ll talk about how to dig deep with tools like Predictive Index (PI), Topgrading techniques, and value-aligned behavioral questions.

But First: Nail Down Your Culture

In today's post-Covid culture, it's not just about salaries and benefits; potential candidates are in search of work that offers purpose and meaning. They are looking for organizations whose values resonate with their own. This makes it imperative for companies to develop a strong marketing plan that speaks not only to external clients but to internal ones - the employees.

Showcase your company's purpose, values, and the impact it has on the community and the world at large. This will attract candidates who are aligned with your mission and are likely to be more engaged and committed. It's crucial to integrate this marketing plan into your hiring ads. This ensures that from the very first interaction, potential candidates are aware of what your company stands for, creating an immediate connection with those who share similar values.

Additionally, implementing a performance platform such as Scaling Up is invaluable in ensuring the right people are in the right seats. Scaling Up provides a framework for setting clear goals, aligning your team with your company’s core values and strategy. This alignment is crucial in maintaining employee engagement and optimizing performance.

Predictive Index

Predictive Index (PI) doesn't just evaluate candidates; it aligns their innate behaviors with job requirements and company culture. One standout feature is "Job Targets." It helps to define behavioral and cognitive attributes crucial for each role, streamlining the selection process. Moreover, PI’s team design feature enables you to analyze if your team’s behavioral dynamics align with company strategy. For instance, if your strategy screams innovation, PI can help evaluate if your team possesses the necessary behavioral traits.

Read more: How to use predictive index to identify the best candidates →


Developed by Brad Smart, Topgrading empowers you to conduct exhaustive interviews covering competence, character, and cultural fit. It's centered on the Chronological In-Depth Structured (CIDS) interview, which meticulously goes through the candidate’s entire career history. Through adopting Topgrading’s methodologies, my clients have revolutionized their hiring, bringing on board genuine ‘A Players.’

But it doesn’t end with the interview. Reference checks are vital. Topgrading’s Threat of Reference Check (TORC) technique revolutionizes this by ensuring transparency from candidates regarding their history. It's about candid, invaluable insights into their past performance.

Behavioral Analysis

Cultural fit is paramount. Crafting interview questions combining behavioral analysis with core values is a game-changer. Say, teamwork is a core value, pose this question: “Describe an instance when your team overcame a challenge. What was your contribution?” This approach digs deep, unearthing whether the candidate embodies the values that define your company’s culture.

Speaking from experience, I employed these techniques in my own business with remarkable success. After selling my company to a large PE firm with over 140 clinics, we consistently ranked number one in retention and patient satisfaction year over year. These strategies were integral in building a high-performing and dedicated team.

These tools and platforms, combined with value-centric behavioral questions, were my secret recipe for success in my own company. I continue to utilize this powerful combination in my coaching practice to facilitate incredible transformations in hiring and team building for my clients.

Read more from Linda: The Strategic Exit - How Preparing to Leave Can Improve Your Stay

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