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 the 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 the 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, but 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): 

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?

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 will this question help you: the purpose of this question is to enable you to 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 be able to confront the issue. You would like to probe the extent to which someone is able to resolve the issue on their own or not. 

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

How will this question help you: the answer the candidate will provide during the interview you would like to see in the example how they went about in handling the situation of persuasion. 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 throughout 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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