The topgrading interview process is a new technique that helps hiring managers to assess a candidate’s true value and not just their qualifications. This process is based on the idea of “topgrading,” which means assessing how well someone has performed in certain areas. The idea is to identify the most important skills for success at any given job and then evaluate candidates against those criteria.

The Topgrading Process

The topgrading interview process starts with identifying the most important skills for success at any given job, then evaluating candidates against those criteria. This goes beyond looking strictly at resumes and past achievements as an indication of potential future performance. Employers don’t need to know everything about a person before they hire them, but they do want assurance that there are no glaring red flags and that the candidate is at least a good fit. The topgrading interview process helps employers ensure that they are making the right decision in hiring a candidate, and it tries to predict future performance.

Topgraders focus primarily on a candidate’s ability to answer business-oriented questions in a way that demonstrates their skills and abilities. This is because topgraders believe that this shows how well they will perform at the company and whether or not they are a good fit.

Personality profiling is a common technique used by topgrading experts. It has been shown to increase employee performance and maybe why this type of interviewing results in 50{ca50f33ff0a75f6c51f642a1a091bd073b72460168f6c3dc01c3669895f0a27f} more productive hires than traditional methods.

Topgraders use three key processes when conducting their interviews; they will ask general questions, situational questions and may even present you with a case study of sorts. This allows them to see how well you can think on your feet, how appropriate your experiences are for the job in question, and whether or not you have the problem-solving skills needed to get ahead. The more an employer knows about you before sending you off on an interview for a position, the better. It’s like assessing what kind of person you are before hiring an entire company.

You wouldn’t want a topgrader to ask a question you weren’t expecting, but it’s okay if they don’t know everything about you before an interview.

The Creators of the Topgrading Interview Process

The topgrading interview process was created by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson, who are both former HR executives at Best Buy. This process starts with identifying the topmost important skills for success at any given job. After that, employers will go through a series of steps where they assess a candidate’s character traits rather than work history or past achievements as an indication of potential future performance, ask questions related to past work history, skills, and other standard interview questions in an in-person meeting/interview, and finally make their decision after evaluating all information gathered throughout this process against topgrading criteria.

The topgrading interview process holds the belief that employers don’t need to know everything about a person before they hire them, but they do want assurance that there are no glaring red flags and that the candidate is at least a good fit. Topgraders use this process to help predict future performance.

The process of topgrading has been gaining momentum and is now being recognized as a key hiring strategy. It may not be perfect, but no other recruitment technique comes close to matching its accuracy- once more companies start using it themselves, we’ll have found our best employees for hire based on performance rather than qualifications alone.

Five Topgrading Steps

1) Assessment – The topgrading process begins with an initial phone conversation between potential employers and candidates. Employers can gather information about whether this is someone who should move forward in the topgrading process or not. If the employer decides to continue with step 2, the candidate will meet with other managers at their company for further assessment during an in-person meeting (again via phone). At this point, topgraders focus on assessing character traits rather than work history, skills, or specific roles. This is done through open-ended, non-judgmental questions.

2) Evaluation – If topgraders think the candidate has potential, they will meet with them for an in-person interview to ask questions related to past work history, skills, and other standard interview questions. Finally, topgraders conduct a final phone interview before making their decision.

3) Selection – Topgraders do not give their topgrading criteria list or topgrading process to hiring managers so they can create a selection checklist of their own instead, which is used to determine whether or not you are actually right for the job. Topgraders need to keep thorough documentation of all phone interviews, evaluations, and any other communication with topgradees during this stage.

4) Transition – Once topgraders have selected who will be working for them; then it’s time to transition that person into an open position within the company. This may require additional training depending on the role that person is taking over. You’ll likely take part in some onboarding activities to get you acclimated with the topgrading company.

5) Onboarding – As topgraders transition topgradees into their new roles, it’s time for them to start learning and understanding topgrading itself. This means topgraders will frequently check in with topgradees and ask if they have any questions about the topgrading process, what is expected of them as a topgrader, etc. Topgraduate should always be prepared to answer those types of questions. When onboarding is complete topgraded employees can expect another half-day interview (or more) to go over the entire onboarding process. By this point, though, topgrades will already understand how important excellence at work is and that simply exceeding goals isn’t enough; topgraders expect topgradees to go above and beyond.

What are Topgrading Interview Questions?

During the topgrading process, you’ll be asked a lot of different types of questions that will help topgraders better understand your past experiences. It’s typically best to keep these types of questions open-ended because understanding how you solved problems in previous positions is very important. Some examples are “Tell me about your greatest accomplishment at your last job,” “Talk to me about a time when…”, or “How do you define success?” Open-ended questions like this will provide topgraders with all the information they need to determine whether or not you’re cut out for topgrading.

Once topgraders have finished topgrading someone, they can expect to be interviewed by topgradees once more. This is the last step in the topgrading process, and topgraders will ask topgradees if they are satisfied with their new role within topgrading, what could be improved, etc. Keep doing so until topgrades answer every question completely and accurately.

You’ll also be asked some behavioral questions during your topgrading interview, like “Tell me how you managed a difficult situation.” Topgraders want to know whether or not you’ve experienced any specific situations where your skills would come in handy while working at topgrading. Asking these types of questions will help topgraders determine which jobs best suit each candidate.

Examples of Topgrading Questions

For example, topgrading candidates were asked to name their top five strengths and weaknesses. One topgrader hoped that the candidate would mention a weakness that was actually a strength. An engineer said his most important skill was “self-management.”

A topgrader told him that every good manager knows how to manage himself or herself, so topgrading topgraders don’t think this answer is valid. In topgrading, topgraders want answers that are specific and measurable because those answers can be evaluated more easily to see how well a candidate actually does at something.

Do you have any questions for us? I’m going to give you just one topgrading question. The topgrading interview process is known to be a bit uncomfortable, but if you want any help preparing for it, feel free to visit the topgrading website.

Is topgrading interview preparation necessary? Although topgraders normally just let topgradees follow their own process, you’ll definitely want to prepare for the topgrading interview ahead of time. This means knowing all about topgrading and coming up with specific examples that back up your qualifications.


Now that you have an idea of what topgrading interviews are all about, why should you work with topgrading? The main reason is that being a topgrader at topgrading means joining an exclusive community where everyone looks out for each other, and nothing less than excellence is acceptable. Topgraders understand that everyone makes mistakes, but perfection isn’t expected at topgrading. Topgradees simply need to work hard, and topgraders will make sure they do everything in their power to ensure topgradees excel!

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