What to Consider When Interviewing

Question: What key elements do I need to consider when interviewing a potential employee for my business?

Answer: Hiring for your team is one of your most important roles as a business owner, and most of us don’t bother to change gears from our everyday activities to effectively identify potential eployees who will compliment your skills.

  • Remember you have to position your company or organization, and you represent its culture. (Silence, the phone, to show your total focus on the interviewee.) Give a brief overview of the company, but remember you need to give the interviewee time to talk.
  • You need to set the stage and clearly state the objective of the interview – hiring a hostess, or an inside sales consultant or a tree trimmer.
  • Clearly, reiterate what skills are required for the position.
  • Identify what skills are needed on day one and what can be learned OJT
  • Have a conversation with the candidate, not just Q&A session. Use words in your question that will elicit dialogue. Why? Tell me? What made you…? Make your questions very specific and get to the meat of what you are seeking in a new employee.
  • Have the interviewee cite a case where they have demonstrated key strengths (don’t ask the too often asked…what are your strengths/weaknesses – they are most probably prepared for that stereotypical question. Ask questions they cannot prepare for in advance that will give you insight into the candidate.
  • Don’t let a candidate get away with vague answers. Force their critical thinking, so you will know how they will represent you and your organization’s culture.
  • Have others in your organization interview the candidate to see how they perceive the fit.

A final thought. To get the most out of an interview, plan to spend as much time in preparation for the interview as you will be interviewing. Aside from sales and cash flow manager, this is your most important task as a business owner.


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