Interviewing is a huge part of any manager’s job, and can help make or break a team. As a manager, I have interviewed countless candidates and found some duds, and some gems. But how do you prep and give a good interview that gives you a great picture of the candidate and helps you make the right choice. Here’s my easy guide on how to ask the right questions and choose the new employee that’s right for your business.
Re-Read Their Resume
A day or two before an interview is a good time to really get to know the a candidate’s skills. I like to have a copy of their resume with me at the interview that I have jotted notes on. I sometimes want to know more about the length of time at a job, or specific skills that aren’t clearly defined in their job description listings. Sometimes you can start a conversation based on their qualifications, like if you shared a past employer or industry.
Formulate Some Questions
Many employers use the same canned questions like asking strengths and weaknesses of a potential employee. While these are good questions, they’re not really getting to the heart of what would make someone a good employee. Instead, I like asking about specific scenarios that happen in real time at my store and see how the candidate would handle them. Think of a sticky situation you’ve encountered with a client and see how they respond. You can also ask about their specific skills at past jobs, what kind of tasks they enjoy doing, and what they see themselves doing at your company in the near future.
The interview is the perfect and most appropriate time to be as clear as possible about what their job entails. For example, I like to tell the prospective employee about sales goal expectations at my business so there are no surprises down the road when they’re held to certain standards. This is also the time to tell them about the kind of hours they can expect or shifts they’ll work, any special tasks they must perform and any other pertinent information to their position. They may also ask about pay and while this may vary person to person, you can probably give a ballpark estimate of what they can expect.
Open the Floor
Allow your interviewee a chance to ask questions about the position. If they don’t have any questions, sometimes you can initiate a conversation that leads to questions. For example, I like to tell them what day to day work is like in my business. Sometimes this leads them to ask more questions, which gives me insight to what their concerns about a job might be. Be honest in answering the questions, and if they ask about downsides of the job, stay upbeat. Try to put a slightly positive spin on even the not so good aspects of the job to keep them excited about the position.
Once you’ve completed the interview, compare that candidate to the other potential employees to schedule more interviews or make a final decision. While not every candidate is the best for the job, with careful decision making and proper interviewing process, you can bet on building a winning team for your business in no time.