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HR Concepts & Interview Skills You Can Learn From Watching "Sherlock"

Posted by Brian Spence on Apr 28, 2014 8:00:00 AM

Sherlock, Sherlock Holmes, Interviews, Interviewing Skills, CareerSherlock Holmes is the quintessential detective whose name springs to mind whenever a mystery has to be solved.  Invented by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the late nineteenth century, he has gone through many incarnations, from his first screen appearance in Sherlock Holmes Baffled, which was made in 1900, to the more recent productions starring Robert Downey Jr.


One adaptation which has taken the world by storm is the British show “Sherlock” starring Benedict Cumberbatch.  Set in the present day, this Sherlock Holmes admits that he is a high-functioning sociopath who has trouble connecting with people, both men and women.  Yet, he manages to maintain a relationship with his trusty sidekick Watson and even has an affair of sorts with the dominatrix Irene Adler.

Sherlock’s Method

While you might not think it, there are many things you can learn from Sherlock Holmes about working alongside people, being a leader and gauging people.  Sherlock Holmes is particularly well-known for how he can look at you and know practically your whole life from your appearance.  This is something a human resources professional could really use!

Using Sherlock’s Method at an Interview

Like Sherlock Holmes, itis necessary for an human resource professional to take in all the little details.  Is the candidate’s suit ironed?  That would show that they are detail-oriented.  Are they wearing high heels or low heels?  This could indicate a creative vs. practical personality.  Are they otherwise fashionable but with short nails?  This would possibly indicate someone who uses their phone a lot to write emails, texts etc.  (Because you just can’t use a touch-pad as well with long nails.)  Do they walk straight and have a lot of muscle tone?  This indicates that they are quite disciplined because they take the time to go to the gym.

Keeping an Open Mind

You can learn a lot about a person by taking into account little things such as these, just like Sherlock Holmes does.  But keep in mind that even Sherlock's observations are not always full proof.  Consider the time when he told Watson a great deal about his life just by looking at his phone.  The only thing he got wrong was that Watson had a sister "Harriet" and not a brother "Harry".  So take in whatever you can about a person during an interview but keep in mind that there is always more to learn as well.

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Staffing Plus is a premier healthcare staffing firm that provides temporary, per diem, temp-to-hire and permanent Staffing Solutions for Behavioral Health, Education, and Healthcare settings. We have leveraged decades of experience to assist organizations with the challenges of managing their HR and Recruiting needs.