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Most entrepreneurs may well have little to no knowledge or experience when it comes to interviewing and hiring people. That makes sense. You might never have been trained or had a reason to do a workshop course on interviewing and hiring people. But it is critically important that you add amazing people to your startup team. This is the one area that, when entrepreneurs don’t get it right, it could directly lead to the failure of the startup. By following some simple tips for conducting an interview, you can hire a valuable employee and avoid making a costly hiring mistake. Use the eight tips below to ensure you get the very most from every interview and walk away with a detailed understanding of your candidates.
Plan Ahead. Planning is a must. A great interview tip for employers is to make a list of what you want to understand about a candidate and construct questions that will give you the answers you need to make an informed decision. According to Business News Daily, an effective way to approach the planning stage is to conduct what is known as a “job analysis.” This involves enlisting the help of a specialist in the area in which you are hiring to develop a detailed question strategy. So, if you are filling marketing jobs or PR jobs, for example, it is important to consult with marketing recruiters or experts in the field beforehand.
Research the Candidate. One of the more valuable interview tips for employers is to have an understanding of the candidate before they walk in. Remember, you might not know the person at all. Chances are these candidates have social media profiles both personal and professional. Hop online and do some quick research. Along with reviewing their resume, look into their LinkedIn profile and see what additional information you can acquire that might help you with an interview question.
Build a Rapport. At the start of the interview, it is important to break the ice and alleviate any anxiety or tension. Make the candidate feel comfortable. An effective way to do this is to ask simple questions that can help establish a rapport, such as “where did you go to school?” or “did you travel far?” Put them at ease. Hopefully you can get more honest answers and a better sense of the candidate’s personality.
Go With the Flow. If the interview diverts away from the structure you had planned, do not panic. Stopping a flowing conversation is rude and counterproductive. After all, these interview tips are meant to get to know your candidate. Go with the flow, but still ensure that all necessary points are covered. One of the most important interview tips for managers is to build a friendly rapport. This is key to learning more about your candidate.
Have an Interview Partner. Invite one or two more interviewers into the meeting with you, Harvard Business Review asserted in a n article. With multiple people involved, all of whom will bring their own questions and perspectives, you will gain a more detailed and well-rounded understanding of the candidate. Additionally, by bringing in an additional partner, decisions are often made quicker, accelerating the hiring process. It will also allow you to see how the candidate handles questions from multiple people.
Describe Problems, Ask For Solutions. When you are interviewing candidates, it is important to learn whether or not they can handle the job. An effective questioning strategy involves describing potential problems that could arise in the position in question, and then asking the candidate to describe how he/she would handle it. This strategy will enable you to better understand how suited the candidate is to the position by assessing their response to challenge, problem solving and stress.
Promote the Company. The interview is also an opportune time to promote the position and company, especially if the candidate seems promising. Most interviewers forget that the process is designed to be reciprocal in nature. You are there to learn about the candidate and the candidate is there to learn about the position and your organization. By promoting your brand and culture, the candidate gets a better understanding of your culture and you can get a sense of whether or not they align with your corporate values.
You Need to Ask Good Questions.
In an attempt to better understand your candidate, it can be easy to wander into a line of questioning that is legally problematic. Knowing how to interview a candidate means knowing what not to ask. Questions that pertain, even indirectly, to a protected characteristic such as age, religion, marital status, sexuality or national origin could land you and human resources in legal hot water if the candidate takes offense. The most effective way to avoid this is to keep the questions focused on professional topics. If you need a place to start, use these examples of behavioral questions and the competencies they address:
- Adaptability – Tell me about a situation where you were under a great deal of pressure because of numerous demands competing for your time and attention. How did you resolve the situation?
- Customer service – Tell me about the most difficult customer encounter you’ve experienced. How did you handle it?
- Dependability – Tell me about a time when you had difficulty keeping a commitment? How did you handle it?
- Ethics – Describe a situation where you worked with someone you did not like or respect. How did you cope with the relationship?
- Initiative – Tell me about an opportunity that presented itself to you but you were reluctant to take the risk. What did you do?
- Interpersonal skills – Tell me about a time you had a serious conflict with a co-worker. How did you handle the situation?
- Judgment – Tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision. What process did you go through to arrive at the decision?
- Leadership – Tell me about a time when you had to inspire or energize an unmotivated individual or group? How did you do it and what was the result?
- Planning/organizing – Give me a summary of the techniques you use to plan and organize your work. Describe how you applied one of these techniques in a specific situation.
- Teamwork – Tell me about a time you had to set your own interests or priorities aside in the interest of the team.
You can’t build a great company without a great team. Learn to hire well. It’s a skill you can learn from advisors and mentors. Serial entrepreneurs cite their recruiting and hiring ability as the number one attribute to their success.
July 9, 2019 at 05:49PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs