Thursday, December 7, 2023

How To Interview A Potential Employee

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How to Interview Potential Employees

At this point in the interview process, the candidate shouldnt answer with a specific number. Rather, you want to hear that the individual is focused on finding the best fit for their skills and abilities.

Talking dollars should come at the end of the face-to-face interview or even in a second interview if thats what it takes.

This kind of trick question can tell you a lot about whether the candidate is right for your company.

How To Conduct An Interview: Questions To Ask

Lets face it, conducting an interview isnt always fun and it doesnt come all that naturally to many people including hiring managers. Often interviewers are unarmed with the appropriate interview questions, unable to follow-up up on candidate responses, and unable to fill the void that often results when two strangers sit together for the first time.

But the stakes are exceptionally high when it comes to building your team and furthering your own success. Thats why, in addition to understanding the job market, its important to know how to conduct an interview the right way.

Here are a few simple tips that, when consistently applied, will help you identify candidates who are geared for progression in their careers and who can make an immediate contribution to your organization.

Create A Great Job Description

Create a job description listing the essential skills and experience.

If you want to hire the perfect person for a position, you need to have a really good description of the position. Don’t get caught up with lots of bullet points, like “Office Experience,” and “Computer Skills.”

A good description shouldn’t over-describe. It should focus on what is absolutely necessary for someone to be successful in the position, and describe what success looks like over specific periods of time typically 30, 90, 180 days, and 1 year.

Use the job description as a roadmap for creating questions.

For example, if you’ve determined that customer service skills are essential, you’ll want to create questions related directly to that. How do they define customer service? What is the best customer service experience they’ve ever had? Review all your essentials in the description and build questions directly related to them.

Write out your questions beforehand.

You might think you can remember all of your interview questions, but the reality is that the greatest weakness of most interviewers is exposed when they try flying blind. Write down your questions, and be sure to give yourself enough blank space to jot down notes.

Jot down notes during the interview.

Get specific details and come back to them.

Make sure you’re on the same page with salary expectations.

Ask detailed questions about roles that lasted less than two years.

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Why Are You Looking For A New Job

The answer the candidate gives to this manager interview question helps you evaluate whether he or she would fit in well with your company culture.

Listen for answers that express a desire for roles that are more challenging and opportunities to satisfy work-related goals and passions.

If the candidate is leaving their current job because of issues that are common to every business, they might not be the right choice for your company.

What Skills Would You Bring To The Job

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While this is similar to questions like, Why should we hire you? or What can you bring to the company? it allows you to be more specific about your work ethic, style and unique abilities as it relates to the role.

An impactful answer will discuss your hard and soft skills and use the STAR method to illustrate how your unique skills might benefit the team or organization.

Example answer:I can make anyone feel comfortable in a new environment, which makes me a good fit as a human resources assistant. In my previous position, a new employee came to me and told me that she didnt think she was right for the company culture. After talking to her for a few minutes, we realized that she felt too much pressure to participate in company events. I started introducing events that involved fewer competitions and more casual environments, and she quickly grew more comfortable with her team.

Read more: Interview Question: “What Skills Would You Bring to the Job?”

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Conduct A Telephone Prescreening Interview

If your list of candidates that you’re interested in interviewing is still too long, you may choose to conduct a telephone prescreening interview with the remaining candidates. This can help you assess whether a candidate’s skills, experience, qualifications and salary expectations are suitable for the position. Telephone interviews can help determine which candidates you would like to meet for an in-person interview. A telephone interview is beneficial for the following reasons:

  • It clarifies gaps or information on the candidate’s resume.

  • It evaluates a candidate’s phone etiquette and communication skills.

  • It reveals if a candidate is still available for the job.

  • It may allow you to invite quality candidates for an in-person interview.

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Career Goal Interview Questions

Finally, get a sense of where your job candidate sees him or herself going in life. What is their required salary for the current position, and tentative career trajectory? What are their big-picture dreams?

Answers to these questions will reveal a lot about your interviewees longevity as an employee, and their long-range goals. If they mention that theyd like to move up within the company, that could signify that theyre ready to work hard and could potentially be built into your business as an integral, foundational memberbut what if you dont have a vacancy for them to grow into?

Again, the right answers will depend on your business and the role you are hiring for, so keep that in mind and have a sense beforehand of what the deal breakers arefor example, if you know youd rather hire someone for the long haul, and they tell you that their five-year plan involves starting up their own company within the next few years.

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What Are You Passionate About

Much like the previous question about motivation, employers might ask what you are passionate about to better understand what drives you and what you care most deeply about. This can both help them understand whether you are a good fit for the role and if it fits into your larger goals. To answer, consider this structure:

1. Select something you are genuinely passionate about and explain why youre passionate about it:As a software developer, Im passionate about creating truly beautiful, efficient digital products to make peoples experience with technology memorable…

2. Provide examples of how youve pursued this passion:”…One of the things I loved about my last job was witnessing the results of my teams code update and watching as our months of work yielded positive user feedback…

3. Relate it back to the job:”…Having the opportunity to lead projects from ideation through launch was one of the reasons I was so excited to apply for this role.

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Create A List Of Competencies Skills And Abilities

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Based on the research you have done on the company and position you can create a list of required competencies, skills, and abilities. This list can help you prepare answers to interview questions that you expect.

For instance, if the job requires you to adapt to changing work situations or creative thinking skills to solve challenging problems, you can expect questions such as:

  • How do you adjust to changing situations that you have no control over?
  • Tell me about a time you worked on the creation of a new product or service.
  • These behavioral questions require you to provide the interviewer with examples of situations from your work experience. Even though these questions may seem challenging, they are a great opportunity for you to show your skills, competencies, and results.

    In general, a lot of companies look for similar skills in candidates to gauge their growth potential. Think, for instance of teamwork, leadership, adaptability, taking responsibility, etc. Once you created a list of competencies, skills, and abilities, you can rank them on importance in relation to the job requirements.

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    How To Interview Potential Employees Or Contractors A Systems Thinking Approach

    Hiring people is one of the most important things youll do as a business owner or team leader. Do it well and youll reap the benefits for years to come. Do it poorly and youll be paying the price of extra stress, long weekends, and lots of frustration.

    Interviewing is a key part to hiring, but not something that is taught in schools or even at many companies. In my corporate career, I was interviewing and hiring people for seven years before I was offered any training on how to do it well .

    In this article, Ill cover a system that you can use to help make sure you have the best interviews possible so that you can make great hiring decisions.

    What Is Your Teaching Philosophy

    This isnt a question solely for those applying to teaching positions. Employers may ask this of anyone who might be leading or teaching others. Your response will allow employers to gauge your personal skills and if you would be a good culture add. A good answer will concisely identify what you think teaching should achieve and include concrete examples to illustrate your ideas.

    Example answer:When it comes to managing people, my teaching philosophy is to start by asking questions that hopefully get the person to come to a new conclusion on their own. This way, they feel ownership over the learning rather than feeling micromanaged. For example, in my last role, I was editing an article written by a copywriter I managed. The story didnt have a clear focus or hook.

    In a one-on-one meeting, I asked her what she thought was the main point of the article if she had to sum it up in a sentence. From there, I asked if she thought the focus was clear in the article. She didnt think it was clear and instead thought she should rework her introduction and conclusion. As a result, the article improved and my direct report learned a valuable writing lesson that she carried into her future work.

    Read more: Interview Question: What is Your Teaching Philosophy?

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    If Hired What Is The First Thing You Would Tackle In This Position

    This is a great question to ask in a later interview round, when youre choosing between the final candidates that youve narrowed down.

    This one is effective for a couple of reasons. First, its yet another opportunity to confirm that the interviewee has the right understanding of all that position will be responsible for. Secondly, it gives you the chance to understand her priorities. What does she believe should be at the top of that positions to-do list?

    Last but not least, a question like this one means you can extend beyond the generalities that often come along with interviewing and get some insight into how that candidate would actually perform in that role.

    Your Work Environment Doesn’t Work With Your Personality

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    You might not realize it, but your work environment might be affecting your happiness. If you have an introverted personality, working in a loud, open area might be distracting and mentally exhausting for you, which can negatively impact your performance.

    On the flip side, if you thrive off of collaborating and connecting with others, working in a quieter atmosphere might set back your creativity and energy.

    When you’re working in an environment that consistently makes you uncomfortable, you’re unproductive. And when you’re unproductive, you’re unsatisfied. This is why it’s so important to understand your workplace personas and interaction styles and do your research on the company so you know what kind of work environment to expect. Even if you work remotely, make sure your work environment is having a positive effect on your mental health and productivity.

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    How Would You Describe Yourself

    With this question, your interviewer wants to learn how your qualities and characteristics align with the skills they believe are required to succeed in the role. To answer this question, pick one to a few personal characteristics and elaborate on them with examples.

    For example, if you are ambitious and driven you can say: I am an ambitious and driven individual. I thrive in a goal-oriented environment where I can constantly challenge myself personally and professionally. I am always looking for an opportunity to do better and grow. These characteristics have helped me achieve success in my career. For example, I was promoted three times in less than two years in my last position.

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    What Are Your Greatest Weaknesses

    It can feel awkward to discuss your weaknesses in an environment where youre expected to focus on your accomplishments. However, when answered correctly, sharing your weaknesses shows that you are self-aware with an interest in continued growth and learningtraits that are extremely attractive to many employers. Consider using this formula for your response:

    1. Select an actual weakness that is honest but professionally relevant:”Im naturally shy…

    2. Add context:”…From high school and into my early professional interactions, it sometimes prevented me from speaking up…

    3. Provide a specific example:”…After being a part of a workgroup that didnt meet our strategic goals two quarters in a row, I knew I owed it to my team and myself to confidently share my ideas…

    4. Explain how you overcame or are working to overcome it:”…I joined an improv acting class. Its fun and has really helped me overcome my shyness. I learned practical skills around leading discussions and sharing diverse perspectives. Now, in group settings, I always start conversations with the quieter folks. I know exactly how they feel, and people can be amazing once they start talking.

    Read more: Interview Question: What Are Your Greatest Weaknesses?

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    How Would You Describe Your Own Working Style

    While you dont want to build a completely homogenous team, you do need to make sure that new additions are able to work in a way that doesnt throw a major wrench into the way things already operate.

    For that reason, its important that you ask each candidate about her working style. Does she take a really collaborative approach or would she rather work independently? Does she perform well with a lot of direction or is she more of a self starter?

    This insight into how each applicant prefers to handle his or her work will be invaluable in determining not only the right match for that jobbut for the entire team.

    How Do You Handle Stress

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    How you handle stressful situations is an indicator of your ability to solve problems. Employers want to hire candidates who react to stress constructively, so its important that your answer to this question demonstrates personal growth.

    Spend some time thinking about your response to stressful situations and provide an example that communicates your abilities around perseverance, resilience and stress management.

    Example answer:Im able to stay calm when I focus on the bigger picture and break down my projects into smaller tasks. I always start by asking myself, What is the ultimate goal Im trying to achieve? From there, I make a list of immediate and long-term action items with achievable but ambitious deadlines. Even if the big project is due tomorrow, I ask myself, Whats something I can tackle in the next 30 minutes? Before I know it, Ive made significant progress and that impossible project doesnt seem so impossible.

    Read more: Interview Question: How Do You Handle Stress?

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    What Do You Do If You Dont Agree With Your Managers Decisions

    Conflict not only happens between employees. According to a study of conflict in the Canadian workforce, about 81 percent of people leave the organization as a result of conflict.

    The purpose of this question is to determine how adaptable an employee is to different communication styles, what they consider deal breakers, and how they model desired behavior when conflict arises.

    The responses to this question allows you to manage expectations and an indication for leaders to continuously work on their communication and conflict management skills.

    Highlight Your Dedication To Growth

    When youre discussing what you have done in the past to grow as a professional such as volunteering experience, its important to highlight the growth that you have achieved. In other words, talk about what youre doing currently and how it helps you develop yourself. Show your enthusiasm for your participation that goes beyond just your positions in previous companies.

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    Do You Have Any Questions

    This might be one of the most important questions asked during the interview process because it allows you to explore any topics that havent been addressed and shows the interviewer youre serious about the role. Remember that you are interviewing the company too. Take time to ask the interviewer questions about their own experiences with the company, gain tips on how you can succeed if hired and address any lingering questions you have. Some examples include:

    • What do you love most about working for this company?

    • What would success look like in this role?

    • What are some of the challenges people typically face in this position?

    • How important is it that you hire someone with XYZ qualities?

    • Do you have any hesitations about hiring me?

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    Avoiding Bad Hiring Decisions

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    The bottom line for interviewers is that they want to avoid making a bad hiring decision. By mixing career goal questions with behavioral interview questions, they try to uncover your growth potential and en likeliness of succeeding in the position youre applying for.

    Interviewers are interested in your self-awareness, self-knowledge, and previous patterns in work situations to find out whether or not you have the right potential to develop yourself as a professional.

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