Sept 2022#Opinion

A single job interview to identify the best professionals:our exclusive method

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Anna Avdeichik

Director, HR


6 min

A startup’s long-term success depends on the professionalism and passion of its team. The more competent and engaged they are, the higher the chances for success. 

This is particularly relevant for projects that are new to the market and want to attract the best experts in the field quickly. How does one do that? Read on for the best tips from BDC Consulting’s Head of HR Anna Avdeichik. 

How do you identify a blockchain professional?

A professional is a highly qualified specialist who can achieve the specified objectives using the resources at their disposal: budget, time, and personnel.

In the crypto industry, a professional should possess the following traits, among others:

  • confidence
  • a drive to become better
  • a desire to take on more varied responsibilities.

Of course, one’s expertise in a narrow niche is also important. But, as our experience shows, knowledge alone isn’t enough for a person to fit into and thrive in a crypto startup. It also takes basic intelligence (IQ), which determines how fast and  how well a team member can perform their tasks; and emotional intelligence (EQ), which helps to build up connections within and outside of the company. 

BDC Consulting normally hires experienced specialists — we have virtually no entry-level positions on the team. For every job opening, we look for an expert with a proven track record who can deliver results from day one

To find such experts, we’ve developed an efficient personnel selection system that is based on fundamental or core competencies. Only a combination of these core competencies and specialized knowledge creates a true blockchain professional.

Core competencies: how to find the best in just one interview

Core competencies are a person’s basic qualities that allow them to communicate and complete their tasks freely and efficiently. 

These competencies are usually formed in one’s youth and determine one’s view of the world. This makes them a crucial factor that impacts a person’s professional capacity, regardless of their professional erudition and niche expertise. 

As an adult, it can take many years to develop the necessary core competencies — and a strong desire to do so.

However, disruptive startups aren’t willing to wait for years; they need a way to evaluate a candidate’s core competencies during the very first job interview. 

At BDC Consulting, we identify four core competencies, which we’ll describe below. 


One’s personal paradigm, which includes the basic psychological setups and reactions, directly influences how a person relates to others and makes decisions, especially faced with a conflict of interests. 

For example, the win-win paradigm characterizes a person who can find solutions that benefit every party, while the 'win-lose' model reflects aggressive benefit-seeking at the expense of the other party.

Another widespread paradigm is 'win-lose', where a person behaves like a victim, easily falling under the influence of others at the expense of one’s own interests. 

How do you identify one’s paradigm? The key part is to understand what drives a person when making decisions in complicated situations.


Responsibility means acknowledging that what happens to you depends on yourself, and that you can impact the consequences of your actions and decisions. Responsible professionals acknowledge their mistakes and try not to repeat them; stick to deadlines; and seek to solve issues on their own.

How do you evaluate the level of responsibility? Look at what or whom a person blames for their difficulties and mistakes. 


Engagement is all about feeling passionate and deeply involved with each project and task. High-engagement people are energetic and proactive; they are interested in everything that is directly or indirectly related to what they do.

How do you evaluate engagement? Watch how a person talks about their job or occupation: the adjectives, emotions, level of detail, speech tone and speed. 


Efficiency means understanding how to achieve one’s objectives within a set timeframe. An efficient person can formulate a clear action plan, select the best ways to reach the goal, and prioritize tasks correctly.

How do you evaluate efficiency? Discuss one’s work results and watch how they talk about the initial objectives and how they were achieved, especially how detailed the action plan was. 

A sample job interview to evaluate core competencies

Below is a fragment from a recent interview with a candidate for the CMO position. The candidate was highly educated and had a lot of specialized knowledge, as well as 5 years of experience as CMO in two companies. 

Candidate: There were difficulties with the previous project because there was no budget, so we had to give it up.

Interviewer: How did your giving up on the project influence the situation?

Candidate: Well, it’s not clear what would have happened if the project had been implemented.

Interviewer: And what was the purpose of this project?

Candidate: The CEO gave us this task. 

Interviewer: And what were the objectives? Did you have KPIs?

Candidate: I can’t remember now, it was a long time ago. (Proceeds to name a couple of objectives, slowly and vaguely.)

Interviewer: I see. What action plan did you suggest to reach these objectives?

Instead of a step-by-step action plan, the candidate gives a vague description.

We can draw the following conclusions from this dialogue:

  • the candidate’s level of responsibility is low, as he easily handed the initiative over to the CEO and ascribed the failure to external circumstances;
  • efficiency also seems low, as the candidate took on the project without understanding its objectives and didn’t try to influence the outcome when difficulties arose. 

Of course, we don’t base our decision on the answer to a single question. But if the hypothesis is confirmed through the rest of the interview, we’ll conclude that the candidate doesn’t fit our fundamental competency profile.

Insights: how to evaluate core competencies during a job interview

  1. Watch closely what the candidate says and how they say it.
  2. Test for each core competence several times.
  3. Use different approaches: abstract situations, examples from personal life, professional experience, etc.
  4. Compare different candidates' core competence levels. 

And of course, don’t forget that your objective is to pick the best!

How to retain professionals after you’ve hired them

Just because you’ve found a great professional doesn’t mean that they will stay with the company forever. What can you do to keep them working for you?

Create an environment that keeps the employee interested and engaged — an environment they won’t want to leave.

Any business is like a living organism that needs to keep adapting to external and internal change. If you implement change smoothly and efficiently, people will be happy to work and create great products. 

If you realize that some of your HR processes need improving, we’ll be happy to discuss how it can be done. 

We wish you success, growth, and the most efficient co-workers!

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