Finding the right employees for your business is difficult. There’s nothing worse than hiring the wrong person and then having to find a legal and fair way of letting them go. Conducting a successful interview can go a long way to finding the right person and knowing you’ve truly made the right choice. Below are some of our top tips for ensuring your interviews go successfully.
Know what you want
You can’t muddle your way through an interview. You need to know before it even begins how you want it to go and how you will find out, from them, whether they meet your requirements. You need to dedicate some time to creating a list of essential questions you plan to ask all interviewees. These questions should be directly linked to the evidence you need to make a fair decision. All questions should be open, giving the candidate the opportunity to elaborate and expand upon any points they make.
You need to be a salesperson, selling the role to the candidate and you also need to be an investigator, discovering the inner traits of this person and relating them back to the role.
Get down to the specifics
The best indication of how someone will perform for you is their performance in their previous jobs. You need them to provide you with as much evidence as possible about how they’ve dealt with specific situations. These situations need to be relevant to your business in some way and to elicit this information you need to consistently ask direct questions utilising how, what and when. Ask them so specifically that a vague response won’t be enough and then you’ll get a clear impression of how they really work. Allowing vague answers means you only have a hypothetical impression of how they work and not the real deal.
Interviews need to be structured and it’s up to you to create this structure. You may only have an hour or so with each candidate so ensure you tailor the time appropriately. Begin with an introduction to your company and a brief outline of the role you need them for. Then begin on your pre-prepared questions. When they’re complete pass the baton over to them and give them time to ask you questions.
Their insight at this point can be really valuable and it may be the questions they ask that get them the job in the end. Questions should be relevant to the company and the job, if they’re asking you about a sales vacancy when they’ve applied to be your personal assistant then you’ll probably need a rethink!
Don’t forget your Notes
Even if you only have a shortlist of two candidates to interview you will forget parts of what each one says. This is why note taking is essential. You can scribble notes under each question you ask and even give a quick rating out of ten for the answer so you can tot up the result at the end and see how you feel about it all.
Employing the right people is very hard to gauge. Some people will fit in immediately, others will grow into a role and others will simply not be the right fit. Usually you can tell, at least in some part, through the interview process and you should be able to make the right decision from that point.
Take the time to read through our guides for start-up businesses. There is plenty of advice and help available so don’t be frightened to take the plunge.
Our Free Download section is also full of templates which will help you get started.