Interviewing – The Attitude of Discernment

Effective hiring depends upon effective interviewers – people who know what they’re doing and who approach the interview with a sense of importance and humility.  A humble attitude is crucial for discernment and good judgment. The best example I can give you illustrating the right attitude for interviewing is lifted from a very reliable source…The Bible and the First Book of Kings, and the history of King Solomon and his father, King David.  

At the time of David’s death, Israel was the most powerful nation in the world militarily, economically, and intellectually.  King David was a beloved, renowned, but controversial leader of the country.  Historians credit David with the design of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem.  He designed it, cut and gathered cedar timbers, stone, gold, and other building materials for the Temple construction. But he never actually built it. God had forbidden its construction during David’s life time.

Solomon was one of several sons and the anointed heir to the throne at the time of King David’s death.  Included in the King’s responsibilities in those ancient days, was the responsibility of holding the King’s court, which functioned as the Supreme Court of the nation.  If disputes couldn’t be settled between families or tribes, they were settled by King David.   

One day royal messengers came to the young Solomon with some very bad news.   His father, King David, had died.  As the anointed successor to the throne, he was now the King of Israel.  He was terrified at the prospect of becoming the nation’s new king and petrified at the thought of passing judgment over his people.  Solomon was so overtaken with the weight of it all that he went to his knees and prayed.  There is a great lesson in that prayer for all of us.  It’s recorded in The Bible…     

“And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant King in place of my father David.  But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties.   

Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”    

“The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked this.”      

1 Kings 3: 7-9      Solomon, King of Israel

King Solomon understood the weight of responsibility of judging others.  He understood the impact that his decisions would have on the lives of good people, many of them smarter, more experienced, with a better track record in life than his.  He prayed for wisdom.  Solomon was humble and in essence asked God, “Who am I to judge?”  His humility brought him a blessing from God, and history tells us that he became the wisest and wealthiest man to walk the earth.  And oh yes… he completed construction of the Temple which became a wonder of the world. 

There’s an obvious parallel between Solomon and interviewers.  When interviewing, you are in the judgment seat.  Many of the candidates on the other side of the desk are smarter; more experienced, and maybe have a better track record in life than you.  You have a big responsibility.  Your decisions will impact the lives of many people.  You need wisdom – discernment – to make the right decisions and choices.  Not taking your responsibility seriously can have disastrous consequences.

I’m not suggesting that your decisions should be based on your prayer life and relationship with the Almighty.  I am suggesting that an appreciation of the moral responsibility to hire well should humble you, and your humility will have a direct bearing on your personal hiring effectiveness.  As I like to say it…

“A humble attitude and understanding the impact of your decisions on the lives of good people results in better hiring decisions.”    

      Interviewing    ch5:  v6-7     Bill Miller, Regular Guy                             

Hiring comes down to personal judgment.  Your judgment as an interviewer has tremendous impact on your company and a lasting impact on people.  Your understanding of that will result in better hiring decisions.   

William E. Miller , Performance Leadership, LLC 

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