Time and Employees: Interviewing

Last week I wrote about how to find those people that you want to bring in for a face to face interview. You should plan on talking to at least 3 people before you make a selection. This is true even if you really like the first person that comes in. It is better to have a good sense of the audience. On top of that, you need to communicate to the other folks that you spoke on the phone to. If they are not coming in, let them know. If there are people ahead of them, let them know that as well. The fact that you take the time to keep people updated will help build your credibility, even with folks that do not become employees. You never know when they might know or become a customer.

The process of Interviewing is a skill that can be learned. It is always best to have more than one person talk to the individual if possible. If you are a Sole Proprietor, see if you can get your spouse or significant other to be another interviewer. Having a couple of views is always better than just your own view by itself. Everyone has different strengths and can pick out different qualities of a candidate. In any case, you need a plan for the interview. You need to know what questions you need to have answered before you end the process. Are there hard technical skills that you need to confirm? Or is it more about personality and maturity? Each person and each position is different and you are the best judge of whom you should be hiring.

Once you have a plan for each interviewer the candidate will come in and meet with everyone. The biggest factor in the interview itself is to ask open ended questions. Unless you are trying to confirm a specific fact, having yes or no answers provide you with the least amount of information possible. Your goal is to get the person to open up and tell you about what they have done and what they want to do. An interview that is yes or no will not very productive that way. You want people to explain and give you answers that you can follow up on. In an Interviewing class I took a long time ago, they called this the “Rolling Why”. By that, the instructor meant that you want to be able to ask “Why?” to every answer that you get. By digging in a couple of levels, you will be able to get the information that you need.

Okay, once you have had a candidate in it is time to debrief with everyone involved. Don’t wait to get feedback or you will likely lose some information that they had. People tend to forget things over time and lose some of the details. It is preferable if the debrief is held the same day as the interview, but it should be held no later than the next day.

Once you have done this will all the candidates, you should have enough information to make a decision. We all know that it is important that people are the most important part of any business. This means you want to make the right choice. What is just as bad as making the wrong choice is making no choice. So, be clear on what you need and how a new employee will meet the need. By being specific about the role, you should be able to make the right call.
Jim Sackman
Focal Point Business Coaching
Business Coaching, Executive Training, Sales Training, Marketing

Change Your Business – Change Your Life!

 

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