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Effective Interviewing with “The Doom Loop”

You don’t need to show someone “The Doom Loop” when you interview them.

But you can use it, nevertheless.

The Doom Loop is effective in determining just where a person stands in his/her job.  It also enables you to develop a strategy if you conclude that the person is either right or not right for a particular job.

It’s easy to do . . . . and here’s how to do it.

Your goal is to make a determination about where the person currently is in terms of the Doom Loop quadrants . . . that is, Q1, Q2, Q3, or Q4.

You do NOT simply describe the Doom Loop to the individual and ask him/her to show you.

You need to find out three things:

  • What key tasks the person does during the course of his/her job,
  • How well he/she performs each of those tasks (good at/not good at),
  • How the person feels about each of those tasks (likes/doesn’t like).

The questions that you ask are not sequential, that is, you don’t just go down a list and ask what the tasks are and then how he/she feels about them, etc.

Instead, you have to be a bit more subtle and ask one of those questions occasionally and mix them in with other questions you might be asking during the course of the interview.

You will find that it is quite easy to form a mental picture of where the person is in terms of the quadrant.

Once you do that, you can draw the following conclusions based on your determination of the quadrant:

  • If the person is currently in Q1, then your chances of having him/her consider a different job are challenging – and might be met more by compensation rather than by career advancement.  This depends, of course, on your assessment of the individual’s ability to learn the tasks necessary to do the job.
  • If the person is currently in Q2, then your chances are equally challenging because he/she is generally happy and satisfied in the job.  Your best bet is an argument to increase compensation.
  • If the person is currently in Q3, then your chances are much easier.  He/she is bored/frustrated (generally normal feelings) and you can proceed to show the challenges and learning opportunities as well as those for advancement by the work required in a different job.
  • If the person is currently in Q4, then you must take care to determine why that is the case.  Personally I have found that individuals in Q4 may not be appropriate for something you are offering. 

In a nutshell, I always am attracted to individuals who are either on TOP of a Doom Loop and are headed into Q3, individuals who are currently in Q3 and are not afraid to admit it, and individuals who might be higher up on the curve in Q2.

When you reach the point where you conclude that the individual is someone you might want to pursue – then show him/her the “Doom Loop.”  You will see right before your eyes that he/she will probably draw the same conclusion as did you.

Then you can show him/her the tasks/challenges of the job you are offering, and let them draw the conclusion that the job would move them back over in the Q1/Q2 quadrants – a healthy place to be.

Give it a try.

Be subtle.

It works!

~ CCJ