Decision Making: The One Essential Skill for a Successful Career in Any Field


“Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision.”

~ Tony Robbins


 Honing one’s decision-making skills can take a professional a long way in his or her career. Regardless of the industry, one is employed, and this is a skill that will be tested at every phase of one’s career. As a recruiter, you may look for many qualities in a candidate, but the art of decision-making is a skill that is a prerequisite for most organizations. That’s why all recruiters look to identify this vital skillset while hiring.


What is decision-making?

In broader terms, it may be the process of identifying a situation or a problem and figuring out the various solutions to find the most favorable outcome.

Nobody is a stranger to making decisions; it’s something everyone does daily. Though some may take decisions unconsciously, those with excellent decision-making skills follow a procedure, that takes into account all the factors and outcomes.

For example, a candidate with good decision-making skills:

  • Identifies the challenge or the problem at hand.
  • Decides on several possible routes or solutions to tackle the problem.
  • Weighs out the pros and cons for each of them, after having narrowed down on the possible solutions.
  • Selects the best suitable solution and implements it.
  • Finally critically evaluates the chosen course of action and make the necessary changes required.

While this framework for decision-making doesn’t always work (especially when constrained by time), recruiters should still look out for applicants who follow a similar procedure, while coming to a decision.


Identifying candidates with good decision-making skills

As a recruiter, you’d probably want to hire the best candidates who can make well thought out decisions. But how do you identify decision-making skills in candidates during a recruitment process? Here are some guidelines that can help you recruit the best candidates with decision-making skills:


  • Put the candidates in an unfamiliar situation with a problem that needs to be resolved or present them with a hypothetical scenario, for which they have no prior knowledge. The aim of this task is not to see if they arrive at the right answer but to check how logically they go about making decisions.


  • If a candidate follows up your question with further questions, this is an indicator of the candidate trying to understand the situation better before making a decision. It’s a fundamental prerequisite for making an informed decision.


  • While speaking to them about their past professional endeavors, look for insights concerning rational thinking and reasoning while arriving at their own decisions.


  • Follow it up by asking candidates how they would react if they faced a similar situation in the present. From their response, you can assess how much your candidate is willing to learn from his/her past errors and experiences. Once again, the objective here is not to not look for the right answer, but for the thought-process employed by the candidate, to arrive at his/her decision.


  • Another critical factor to consider is time. Time is money, and decisions have to be made on the go. Hence the answers should be intelligent as well as quick.


  • If they begin to feel uncomfortable or awkward, these are signs of succumbing to pressure. Look for candidates who are calm and composed while taking a decision, even though they are put in an uncomfortable and unfamiliar situation.


If decision making is a crucial skill you’re looking for in an employee, then we recommend an accurate tool to assess this. The Watson-Glaser Test of Critical Thinking Ability from TalentLens is a thorough and time-efficient decision-making assessment tool. Watson-Glaser is a great predictor of a candidate’s decision makings skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities. These are the skills that are most required for success in numerous job roles across different job industries.