Of late have been conducting a lot of interviews. How can you tell winners from those are likely to struggle in the role purely based on the interview ? I mapped out the best talent in our teams and compared them with the ones who struggled in the role. Many criteria jumped out but 4 seemed to be the defining characteristics that helped pick winners.

If you can get a candidate to have 2 out of 4 – hire. 3 out of 4 hire now and offer retention package. If all 4 see how you can bring them at a higher level than you had planned – such 4G rockstars are hard to find.

Here are the 4Gs that can help you recruit winners

  1. Ghussu – colloquial hindi for one who gets into details –  does the candidate get into details or do they delegate all the work below them. Are they comfortable working as an individual contributor, as an artisan or a craftsman who has to produce output. A good test you can give them is to work on a short project or assignment, complete it and send it to you after the interview. 8/10 candidates will either not to do it or will do a shoddy job. 1-2 out of 10 will put in the effort to address your question. These are the ones we want. You can also probe functionally to see how deep is their knowledge and understanding of the issue by asking technical questions. 
  1. Ghissu – colloquial for someone who works hard – What was the job scope of the individual and did they step outside of it ?Did they take on additional responsibilities and projects ? Do they seem to be willing to go beyond the brief to do what it takes ? When you ask them to solve a business problem in the interview is the answer academic and theoretical or a real practical set of steps ? Does it sound like a person who likes to get in the mud and work hard at the challenges thrown at them ? If you find a grinder who works hard then that is the person we want.
  1. Gujju – Nickname of anyone from the Indian state of Gujarat, known for it’s commercial savviness. We want in all functions of the organisation commercial savviness. It means be able to spot business opportunities to grow faster or generate cost savings or both. Grow the topline or grow the bottomline. To find out ask the question about their current and past roles – if you had to double the topline or bottomline how would you do it ? What concrete steps would you take ? Tell me about things you are the most proud of ? What we are looking for is concrete stories of they identified an opportunity and worked to unlock it. We are looking for candidates who have done this many times over and over again.
  1. Gabru – Courageous or bold – We are looking for change leaders. Those who can think differently and then have the courage to chase and execute those different ideas. Those who have the courage to follow their convictions and make a difference to the business and others. Ask about incidents where you did something new, created a new project or launched a new initiative. How did it go ? was it successful ?. Have you failed ? What are the lessons from failure ? Ask for new ideas about any subject. You are looking for stories of bold implementation of new initiatives which made a big difference

The 4G model is a proven way to find winners. Find them, care for them and reward them well. They will take you far.

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