The importance of Self Awareness

By Posted on : 10 Mar 2017 0 Comments

Even with 15 years’ experience in the recruitment industry, I find I’m still learning.

The COO of a large insurance company recently gave me a piece of advice which really got me thinking – “Hire based on the candidate’s self-awareness as opposed to skills”.  Adding to this, he noted that his best employees came to their performance appraisals with performance review notes which mirrored his own, showing him that they were fully in touch with their own self-assessment.

I reflected on the hundreds of hires I have made throughout my career and found what he said really powerful…

3 of the most effective questions to help interviewers assess a person’s self-awareness are:

1.     Talk to me about a time you have failed in the workplace. What happened? Talk me through your reflection and what thoughts you have had around how you could have done things differently? What did you learn from that experience?

2.     Talk to me about you. What traits/behaviours have you noticed about yourself that you know you find hard to regulate in the workplace. What do you do about it to ensure you regulate these behaviours?

3.     Who do you rely on at work to make you better at your job? How do they help you?

I have always held self-awareness in high regard, but it is only now that I realise that these questions should have always been in my top 3 questions to ask in an interview. As a seasoned recruiter, I will always believe skills and experience are invaluable to an individual’s ability to be matched to a role, but emotional intelligence and self-awareness is a testament to how an individual develops and adapts to change in their career.

For a confidential discussion about your career, contact Victoria Butt at Parity Consulting on +61 402 418 326 or