The Topgrading Interview is the key interview within the “Select” step of the ghSMART A Method for Hiring. It goes a long way toward giving you confidence in your selection because it uncovers the patterns of somebody s career history, which you can match to your scorecard. 909

What Brad Smart discovered was the power of using data and patterns of behavior for making predictions about how somebody is likely to perform in the future. 921

Everybody has strengths and weaknesses. If you want to enhance your predictive capabilities, you have to really understand their story and their patterns.” So what is the Topgrading Interview? It’s a chronological walk-through of a person's career. You begin by asking about the highs and lows of a person's educational experience to gain insight into his or her background. Then you ask five simple questions, for each job in the past fifteen years, beginning with the earliest and working your way forward to the present day. These five questions are so straightforward that the discussion they generate seems more like a conversation than an interview. 928

People being interviewed enjoy it because they feel like they are just telling their story. 934

Question 1: What were you hired to do?

This first question is a clear window into candidates goals and targets for a specific job. In a way, you are trying to discover what their scorecard might have been if they had had one. 936

Question 2: What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Question number two generates wonderful discussions about the peaks of a person's career. This is where you will hear the stories behind the polished statements on a resume. 940

Ideally, candidates will tell you about accomplishments that match the job outcomes they just described to you. Even better, those accomplishments will match the scorecard for the position you are trying to fill. On the flip side, we are always wary when a candidate s accomplishments seem to lack any correlation to the expectations of the job. Be sure to listen for that clue. A Players tend to talk about outcomes linked to expectations. 944

Question 3: What were some low points during that job?

Our recommendation is to reframe the question over and over until the candidate gets the message.

What went really wrong?

What was your biggest mistake?

What would you have done differently?

What part of the job did you not like?

In what ways were your peers stronger than you?

Question 4: Who were the people you worked with?

Question four builds on the fourth question of the screening interview. We call the first part TORC, or threat of reference check. 954

Forcing candidates to spell the name out no matter how common it might be sends a powerful message: you are going to call, so they should tell the truth. 959