Definition of Dominance: Individuals high in the personality trait dominance consistently attain high levels of influence in groups. The personality trait dominance involves the tendency to behave in assertive, forceful, and self-assured ways. The two values are:

Cooperative: An individual with a low amount of dominance drive is collaborative, cooperative, and harmony-seeking. This person is accepting of company policies and generally happy to go along with others’ ideas. Low dominance people prefer to be recognized as part of a team, and they tend to shy away from individual competition.

Descriptors: deferential, avoids conflict, submissive, humble, obedient, easily led, docile, accommodating

Assertive: Someone with a high amount of dominance drive is independent and self-confident. This person enjoys being challenged, is comfortable with conflict, and likes autonomy in problem-solving. High dominance people prefer individual recognition, and they can sometimes come across as authoritarian. They will stand up for their own or other people’s rights in a calm and positive way, without being aggressive. 

Descriptors: dominant, forceful, aggressive, competitive, stubborn, bossy

The interview questions listed below can draw revealing answers and get you on your way to finding whether employees are cooperative or assertive. These interview questions will assess the degree of dominance of a candidate.

Top 2 questions and expected answers (*there is no right or wrong answer, the answer you are seeking is based on what best fits the role and your company culture): 

1. Give an example of when you have had to manage a difficult relationship at work. Did you solve the problem alone or with the support of others?  

How this question will help you: the purpose of this question is to help you understand how the candidate reacts in a situation of conflict. For example, if the candidate has had a conflict, did they resolve the issue on their own, or did they consult with colleagues to confront the issue? You would like to probe whether the candidate is able to resolve the issue on their own or needs the support of others. 

2. Please provide an example of when you persuaded a colleague to use a particular approach to complete a task provided by your manager.

How this question will help you: the purpose of this question is to see how the candidate went about handling persuasion in a particular situation. For example, what was the style of persuasion? Was it more of an easygoing/friendly approach or a “no other option” approach?

   Question Pool 

3. Do you prefer working independently of others or as a team member?
4. Describe a time where you exceeded expectations in the workplace.
5. Have you been in a situation during your career where you have supported a colleague struggling in bringing in their KPI/sales quota?
6. Give a recent example of when you've had to make a quick decision in response to a work problem. Did you have to consult a colleague or manager? Could you have made this decision yourself?
7. If you are faced with a conflict between colleague and manager, what is the position you take in this sort of situation and why?
8. Describe a time when you communicated something unpleasant or difficult to say to your manager. How did you assert yourself?
9. Please provide an example of when you persuaded a colleague to use a particulate approach to complete a task provided by your manager.
10. Tell me about the biggest accomplishment of your life.

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