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Interview Tips: The Answers Employers Are Looking For – Insight from Stan Duncan, Westfield

People power boils down to one thing: potential. Just ask Stan Duncan, Senior Executive Vice President of U.S. Human Resources and Global Head of Management for Westfield. In the 20-plus years that Stan Duncan has worked with human resources divisions in several multinational companies that offer small business credit cards. He’s learned a thing or two about what makes a good job candidate. He’s learned which specific resources are vital to those who are ultimately hired and, more importantly, which questions to ask those candidates. Duncan says that it’s all about the candidate opening up to tell you what they want, what they have done, what will make them successful, and most importantly: “Why they do what they do. ”

According to Duncan, having a prospective employee reveal what they see as their own abilities and competence is a surefire way to not only get a raw understanding of their pros and cons, but also to get an understanding of their ability to adapt and their potential to last in the long term. “We aren’t looking for super-humans; in my two decades as an HR executive, I’ve yet to meet one. We want people who are talented, but most importantly, willing to grow and change as the company grows and changes, too. I believe people who know a lot about themselves do the best selling themselves in an interview. Basically, make sure you’re introducing yourself, presenting the real you in the interview.”

Duncan is certainly not shy about his two decades’ of experience as an interviewer. That was proven when he was asked what he’s learned when it comes to hiring the right people: “Doing this for 20 years certainly helps you see the big picture; it’s all about potential.” Duncan has been around long enough to see what works for the long-term–such as 0 interest balance transfer cards- and what only succeeds in the short term, and his reflections have resulted in him founding an HR model that prizes a prospective worker’s long-term potential over short-term spunk.

“Working in human resources for companies that focus on everything from career apparel, managed services, aerospace glass manufacturing to chemical agent creation has allowed me to see what always stays the same despite the change in labor practices, techniques, and strategies. Human resources are universal in that HR personnel are always seeking out that potential for a long-term employee presence once they’re hired. That’s because longevity in employment means a stronger, more developed team, which increases the likelihood that each member reaches their potential due to the longstanding support of one another.”

Without a guiding vision, the potential of individual talent to serve something greater is often wasted. Asking the right questions and paying close attention as human resources workers is the only way to uncover that potential and make sure the talent stays around long enough to make an impact. Let Stan Duncan’s success show you what can be accomplished in 20 years if you put your mind to it.

This is a guest post from Sam Peters, a blogger who enjoys writing about career development.


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