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Hire to Fit – Preparing for Your Journey

Hello, again!

Last time we met on the blog, we talked about the cost of a bad hire and how it can affect your organization as a whole. That cost is not just financial, either — in addition to costing your company a staggering amount of money, the damage to morale, efficiency, and motivation can take years to correct, long after that bad hire has moved on. 

So what, then, is a team leader to do in order to avoid this situation? Here at Pathway Design Group, we’ve got a solution to that problem, and we call it hiring to fit. And, of course, in true Pathway fashion, we’ve placed it in the frame of a journey through the wilderness. A journey that, so long as you follow the path and are prepared for the trip, will lead you toward success. 

This post will ensure that you are fully prepared to follow this path. Have you checked your pack? Do you have all of the tools you need to reach the end? Do you know how to begin the interview process in a way that will gather the most useful information and set you up for success? 

Why Hire to Fit?

The importance of a good hire cannot be understated — our last blog post touched heavily on the negative effects a poor hire can inflict upon an organization. From missed business opportunities to onboarding costs to substantial severance pay, the financial losses tally up to far more than that employee’s salary. 

While those costs should definitely be taken seriously, it’s also important to think of the positive effects of an extremely good hire: 


  • Increased efficiency leading to less-stressful workloads
  • Improved overall morale
  • Providing opportunity for employees to thrive 
  • Dynamic performance borne from employee satisfaction


The goal of managing a team should not be a neutral baseline — it should be to provide an environment that promotes satisfaction and creative excellence. Hiring to Fit is the first major step on the journey to workplace harmony. 

The Behavioral Interview Process

When hiring to fit, it’s imperative to focus on past performance. This will be the best indicator of hiring success. Our behavioral interview process is designed to bring past performance to light in a way that is unintimidating, yet thorough. 

One of the ways we do this is by “seeking clarity along the interview path,” as we ask open-ended questions of the interview candidate. This practice is actually quite simple in theory, and looks like this: 

  1. Listen and assess
  2. Ask probing questions to seek clarity
  3. Listen and assess
  4. Ask probing questions to seek clarity

By listening carefully and asking deliberate questions, you can gain a better understanding of your potential hire’s instincts, work ethic, and drive. Some examples of these questions are: 

Who, when & how long:

  • Tell me more…
  • When did this occur…
  • How long did it take…
  • Who else was involved…

How & what: 

  • How did you do it…
  • What was your role in the situation…


  • What was the outcome…
  • What did this do for you/your team/company…

The benefit of asking open-ended questions is that it gets the candidate talking — in fact, you want the interview candidate to be doing 80% of the talking! This will give you a better chance of seeing the full story — beginning, middle, and end. By taking the listening side of this interaction, you have less chance of leading the candidate, making assumptions, or putting words in their mouth. 

Checking Your Pack

Would you leave for a hike without properly packing for the journey ahead? Of course not! 

The same amount of thought and care should go into your preparation for the interview process. Some things to do before you step into that interview include: 

Complete Demographics Before the Interview

It’s useful to know as much as you can about your candidate before the interview begins. Doing a quick review of the candidate’s demographic information can not only provide added insight but also help you avoid asking questions to which you already had the answers.

Use the Same Questions and Interview Team for the Entire Selection Process

Objectivity and consistency are key factors in the behavioral interview process. By preparing a set of questions that is used for all candidates, you can more accurately and objectively compare the answers given. 

Similarly, ensuring that your interview team is the same throughout the process will provide even more consistency, and allow you to treat each candidate with the same level of objectivity. 

Be Prepared to Explain the Interview Process

While creative thinking and evidence of resourcefulness are always welcome, an interview is certainly not the time to surprise someone. After introducing yourself and thanking the candidate for your time, a brief explanation of the interview process will allow your candidate to feel more comfortable with the situation, and better able to provide thoughtful, meaningful answers to your questions. 

Are you ready to forge ahead? 

We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to be prepared for the interview process before you actually begin! Hiring to fit is not a quick way to simply fill a position. Hiring to fit is like the compass in your pack — if you have it at the beginning of your journey, and reference it along the way, the chances of reaching your destination will soar.