There's no question technology requires specialized skills, and you definitely wouldn't hire someone whose resume lacks the core technology required for the job. Although much of a technical worker's time is spent staring at a screen, man-machine interaction is only part of the job. Person-to-person interaction is also part of the job, so look for employees with emotional intelligence as well as technical capabilities.
Having emotional intelligence means having skills like self-awareness, empathy, and social skills. Employees with these skills work well with others, which is important in team-oriented technical projects. They focus on finding solutions to problems rather than dwelling on the problem, which makes them effective leaders. Find new hires with emotional intelligence these ways:
• Use behavioral interviews.
Emotional intelligence isn't like book intelligence, where you know the right answer; it's about responding effectively challenges. Use behavioral interview questions to find out about the candidate's work in the past and how they envision responding to hypothetical situations. If the hypothetical situations you ask about actually happened in your work environment, you'll get insight into whether their approach to problem solving is appropriate in your company.
• Assess the candidate's attitude during an interview.
Listen to the candidate's responses, not only for content but also for manner. Listen for passion about their work. Make sure the candidate is listening to you and responding to the questions you ask, not just presenting the information they want you to know. Pay attention to nonverbal cues, also.
• Measure the candidate's fit against your culture.
Ask why they want to work for you and what their ideal work environment is. You'll get an idea of the environment they need to thrive and whether your environment matches.
• Find out what they do outside work.
You can learn whether someone is a "people" person by what they choose to do in their spare time. If someone has a leadership role in a volunteer organization, they're leading people who don't have to follow (unlike at work).
• Rely on referrals.
Your employees understand the reality of working within your company and know what kind of attitude will succeed. They won't recommend job candidates they don't think will fit in and be able to do the job.