The LUCID Test


In recruiting, the first filter I run candidates through may surprise you. Most people think filter one is your resume. In reality, your LinkedIn, correspondence, and first conversation are all creating data for the LUCID test: Logical, Understandable, Comprehensive, Intelligent, Direct.

  • LinkedIn: Insight to how you self-identify on a public platform
  • Correspondence: Insight to how you communicate in written form, both in terms of clarity and professionalism.
  • Conversation: Insight to how you communicate verbally, both in terms of self-identity and clarity.

These three touch points between a recruiter and candidate are applied to the LUCID test.

LOGIC: Characterized by or capable of clear, sound reasoning, or sensible given the circumstances.

The first step in understanding a candidate is to assess their logic. Most of us like to believe if someone is successful, they must also have sound decision making and reasoning. This isn’t always the case though. People can often be successful because they are surrounded by logical people, but they themselves do not possess this characteristic.

In hiring, it is vital to assess HOW someone became successful. Was it on their own accord or was it the 80/20 rule coming into play? If someone can’t speak competently on HOW they decide or WHY they chose a certain path or strategy, watch out!  

UNDERSTANDABLE: Able to be understood.

Once you feel someone has logic, which is an internal thought process, the next step is to assess their ability to communicate that logic externally in a manner that is understandable. Someone can be brilliant but if they are caught in their own minds, that brilliance is borderline useless. It doesn’t matter if you understand something. If you can’t communicate it, then the brilliance will live and die within your own mind.

This concept is similar to knowing vs doing. Knowing (or having the logic) that your team needs direction is not the same as giving effective coaching. 

COMPREHENSIVE: Complete; including all or nearly all elements or aspects of something.

Call it detail oriented or even clarity. To be comprehensive is to seek giving the full data or complete picture. Similar to logic, this is an important evaluation point, as you are looking at whether a candidate is thorough or basic, honest or evasive, and worst of all, leaving key details out of the conversation.

Consider this…

Recruiter: “You mentioned you have experience in selling Saas, but I don’t see a software company on your resume or LinkedIn. Where did you work in Saas?”

Candidate: “I was with the company for less than 6 months so I did not list it in my experience.” (Didn’t actually answer the question)

Recruiter: “Oh, interesting. I don’t see a 6-month gap in your experience. Was it a part-time role?”

Candidate: “Ummm…it was during Q2 and Q3 of 2015. I must have messed up my dates a bit with the other roles.” (Knew the precise time with the company, but somehow forgot when creating both the resume and LinkedIn which match perfectly)

Recruiter: “I see. And why are you interested in another Saas role when you maybe did not like the last?”

Candidate: “I liked Saas, but the company wasn’t right for me.” (Doesn’t actually answer the question again)

Recruiter: “I see. Can you tell me more about your time with the company? I’d like to learn more about your experience with Saas.”

Candidate: “I found it similar to selling manufacturing products really.” (Gives a vague answer in terms of a general comparison, but does not discuss the primary question)

This is an example of a failed LUCID test when it comes to being comprehensive. We all have worked for a company that we did not like. It is a learning experience. But to be evasive in the answers is an instant fail. This is because the candidate isn’t giving me what I need to feel comfortable in terms of understanding their experience, skillset, etc.

It is the same characteristic in leadership. Imagine going to your direct manager for guidance and asking, “am I on the right path for this project?” and your manager only says, “no.” How helpful was that?

INTELLIGENCE: The ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.

There are two sides of intelligence: to be able to learn and to apply what you learned. Both sides are important.

If I were to identify one phrase that I cannot tolerate, it is, “we have always done it that way.” It is the giant waving red flag that a person or group or entire organization is unable to learn new skills. With life, people, economy’s, technology, everything perpetually changing, the ability to adapt by learning new skills and apply them is vital to being a long-term contributor.

The application part of intelligence is equally as important to learning. Have you ever gone to a conference and someone says, “that was really great! I learned a lot!” but then nothing they do actually adopts what they learned? If you cannot apply new knowledge, then ultimately, the time and energy used to learn something is almost wasted. That entire conference didn’t have a positive impact because the person in the seat doesn’t know how to learn and apply.

DIRECT: with no one or nothing in between.

Directness is in a way a combination of comprehensiveness and understandable. It is essentially the skill to be efficient within these other two skills. It is also being able to handle confrontation, hard questions, difficult situations, etc. While directness really shows its true strength in situations of confrontation, it is a communication style as well. From the most entry-level position to the highest executive, having the ability to be direct is a vital skill. How often have you seen a direct person coach an indirect person that resulted in the response, “ok” followed by utter silence? If someone is not used to be direct, the likeliness for future workplace miscommunication is high. 


So there you have it! The LUCID test! This is my first assessment for recruiting candidates.

Braedi Leigh