Willingness to learn is defined as the eagerness, initiative and desire of a person (or a candidate in this case) to gain new knowledge or to develop new skills.
A candidate who is even willing to step out of their comfort zone and develop new skills which are not in their existing scope or practice are the ones who are highly eager to learn and would be a valuable addition to your team.
With a candidate having the willingness to learn, comes better adaptability too.
Here are a few questions you can ask to test candidates if they are willing to learn:
- What are the areas you would like to be given opportunity to further develop on?
- A great sign of a candidate having the willingness to learn is one who can specifically list down areas they want to further develop on.
A candidate demonstrating strong willingness to learn would mentioned a good mix of both skills which are closely related their own area of expertise and something which is out of their scope (For example, a product manager who mentioned they want to further develop on their product lifecycle management skills and business development)
Red Flags 🚩:
We have seen candidates answering that they are willing to learn anything a company assign to them. This is a red flag. These candidates may depend on the company to suggest training they should go for, and may not initiate to upskill or reskill in their career.
2. I've already learned enough about everything needed for me to perform well continuously. (Very Unlikely - Very Likely)
- If a candidate has answered "Very Unlikely" and he is highly skilled, that's a good sign that he would continue to develop new skills that may benefit the company.
Red Flags 🚩:
- There are always new skills and new development that one can learn in all industries. Look out for a candidate who did not answer "Very Likely" or "Definitely" as an answer.
3. Making mistakes is not forgivable at work as it brings no value to the company.
- Like it or not, employees who are willing to step out of their comfort zone to learn something new would make a few mistakes. What we want to see is how they learn from them and became stronger. Look out for candidates who answered a strong "Very Unlikely" in their answers.
“Success comes through rapidly fixing our mistakes rather than getting things right the first time,” says economist Tim Hartford, who wrote Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure.
Red Flags 🚩:
- Candidates who answered "Very Likely" may be better to be in a routine/repetitive work.
- Please take into consideration that some jobs where mistakes may cause a company great loss, such as a finance role. For such roles, this question may not be suitable.
For more candidate assessment test questions, go to Prehireforms.com, candidate screening platform for hiring right.