The F.B.I Interview

Growth Series (Part 8)

The Growth series will posted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through the month of October 2011.

Mary Moaner is uncharacteristically upbeat today. It is like she will probably get a raise and yes, she probably will from you. Mary is one of those salespeople who let’s say has “been around the block a couple of times”. In fact the number of company business cards with her name on them makes an impressive collection. She boasts about her longevity in the business with her limited production being mainly the result of the “friends and family” plan. Her reputation for being the sour apple is well known, everything happens to her and she must certainly be the most unlucky person in the industry.

Your manager or recruiter has several performance objectives to meet. including prospects interviewed and hired, and has not met the quota to reach bonus. There are a number of Mary Moaners, Larry Limpalongs, Katie Opportunity-Killers and Terry Troubles that will usually meet in a recruiting interview if there is nothing better to do that day. In fact they all know the game well and that your manager or recruiter will basically buy them rather than face accountability without anything.

If we could make sure that all recruiters and managers conducted an F.B.I interview – Financial Biased and Informative, better practices would most likely weed out the people who siphon deals from producers who really want to earn a good income from the career. It would also help in really being able to reward the deserving with incentive compensation.

Each interview conducted needs to be one in which mutual benefit is sought and that hiring is not for the sake of simply numbers, a perceived take away from a competitor or for bragging rights. An F.B.I. business interview looks at the factors that align with the company’s objectives.

  • Financial – Unless you are a charity or a social club, you probably have a financial motive behind all hires. What is the cost benefit of hiring the person? What type of investment will need to made and will that investment pay off. Will their compensation be on scale or an exception relative to their production history and potential.
  • Biased – The bias must be to the impact on your company, culture, your systems in place including your pay scale, optimization of opportunity, PR, competitiveness, risk, management requirements and new business as a result of the hire.
  • Informative – The interview in addition to qualifying the fitness for hire should also bring insight to how to work with this person, development and fulfillment of potential future requirements. You should also be able to determine their work style, expectations and potential longevity.

We owe it to ourselves, our companies and our industries to not simply pass those who really do not impact the business positively from one company to another, usually with a raise each time. The cost benefit is too great for tolerance.

Perhaps some of the interviewing techniques of the Federal Bureau of Investigation are worthy of review. No question is asked without a purpose and they always seeks to make progress toward the objective. The FBI engages in many areas including fraud protection. The following quote applies well to the reason for conducting a Business FBI Interview: “Getting educated and taking a few basic steps may well keep you from becoming a victim of crime and fraud—and save you a great deal of time and trouble.”

Perhaps hiring someone not fit for hire in the same way we would a valuable producer is in ways perpetuating and being victimized by industry fraud.

We have created a Business Case Tool that can be used to document and request hiring and/or compensation. It will also serve as a tool to train and assist managers and recruiters in obtaining needed information. Please go to our Download Center to obtain the tool. It is offered as a PDF without charge for a limited period. Customized and/or fillable tools will be available through our soon to be opened web store.


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