Vigilance: How we translate other’s intentions
The vigilance trait refers to one’s tendency to put careful attention to a particular problem or situation and focus on noticing any challenges/trouble that might be generated in the process. Also, the vigilance trait plays a significant role on how individuals perceive others' motives and intentions. The trait has two opposite poles, namely Trusting and Skeptical. Let’s look into both poles to better understand how we assess the vigilance trait.
Trusting: A trusting person is someone who expects fair treatment, loyalty, and good intentions from others. While trust is required in order for someone to function in a team, extremely low scorers may be taken advantage of, because they are not paying attention to others' motivations.
Common Descriptors: unsuspecting, accepting, unconditional, easy.
Skeptical: Someone who needs to ask questions, collect evidence, and see proof before they accept something as true. Skeptical individuals are investigative and will need information in order to accept a new process or deliver a project in the workplace.
Common Descriptors: vigilant, suspicious, distrustful
Vigilance Interview Guide
The interview questions listed below can draw revealing answers and get you on your way to finding whether employees tend to perceive others as being trustworthy and assess the degree of how trusting or skeptical a candidate is.
Note: There is no right or wrong answer, the answer you are seeking is based on what best fits the role and your company culture.
Top 2 questions and expected answers
1. Your organization has decided to apply a new process in delivering projects. What is your reaction?
Trusting: Individuals who score closer towards the trusting end of the scale are most likely to display an accepting attitude towards the new process which was set in place. Given that trusting individuals tend to accept the motives of others and they are adaptable, they are likely to trust that this decision was made to optimize their day-to-day work.
Skeptical: Individuals who score closer towards the skeptical end of the scale are most likely to delve deeper into the reasons behind why this new process was set in place. Considering that skeptical individuals are critical observers and do not easily trust others motives they would strategically think of this change as to how it might affect them and whether it’s for the best.
2. How would your past bosses and supervisors describe you?
Trusting: Individuals who score closer towards the trusting end of the scale are most likely to answer that they are considered by their bosses or managers as trustworthy individuals who are generally easy to get along with and good team players.
Skeptical: Individuals who score closer towards the skeptical end of the scale are most likely to answer that they are considered by their bosses or supervisors as strategic thinkers, who are likely to thoroughly investigate each and every task and can be competitive.
3. What has been your most difficult situation in the workplace? How did you handle it?
4. Talk about a time when personal issues drew your attention away from work and how you handled it.
5. If the workday ended before you completed an important task, what would you do?
6. What was the most difficult thing that you had to tackle in your professional life and what measures did you take for solving that issue?