The curtains are up… your next star is stepping up on the stage (you hope). This is audition time. You know they must be excited or even nervous. Regardless, you want to see the real talent underneath and evaluate whether they are a good fit for your ensemble.
An interview is similar to an audition. The objective in mind here is to hire the right employee—the one who has the talent to elevate your team’s performance.
Now, let’s say you’ve already looked through many resumes and picked those that resonated with you. You would have highlighted specific individuals for interview because those people would have: similar relevant experience, specific technical specialties, important competencies or strengths, or even recommendations from someone you know.
So what do you need to do to make the interview successful and hire the correct employee?
There are four actions you need to take that make an interview effective: verifying, observing, building rapport, and evaluating potential.
Don’t take a resume at face value. Ask questions to verify details that are of interest to you. If what impressed you in reading their resume was their experience, ask them to give more details about that experience.
It’s important to know:
- who they interacted with at their prior jobs
- what was their impact
- what they did really well
- what they would have done differently given another opportunity
As your candidate engages in the conversation, you want to learn the facts.
For example: How do they handle familiar territory? How do they respond when they do not know the answer? What is the level of energy that they exhibit? What’s their level of self-confidence, and of their confidence in other people?
Make sure to separate what you see from how you feel about it. The time to be subjective is when you evaluate. When you observe, do the best you can to be objective as you watch their responses and engagement level.
The interview is a safe environment to build a connection with a future employee. Although you may not have selected them yet, you can start building trust and comfort so you can have an open line of communication later on.
What are some great rapport-building questions to ask?
- What are your strengths?
- What are you best at?
- What is most important to you at work?
If you cannot build an initial rapport with a candidate during the interview, chances are that if you do hire them, you are inviting a low-communication element into your organization.
Now it’s time to put on your judgment hat. When evaluating potential, you want to examine two aspects.
Individual potential: You’re not only looking at what they have done in the past, but also what their potential is for growing and taking on more responsibilities above and beyond the position they’re being interviewed for. When evaluating leadership potential consider asking
- What do you think you can improve on?
- If I see something you can improve on, how would they like me to communicate that?
Team fit: Look at this hiring process as an opportunity to add value to your overall team performance as well as to identify the dynamic needed for its success. Ask yourself
Does your organization need the specific strengths that this candidate brings forward, or you already have plenty of that? Sometimes, we tend to look for copies of exactly what we already have, but a team can produce better results when additional strengths are acquired.
Would your permanent employees (those you intend to keep for the long haul) get along with this candidate? Or are you inviting future conflict?
As you go through your assessment and compare multiple candidates, embrace your intuition. Too many times I heard managers fire an employee and talk in retrospect about how they ignored a “weird feeling” during the initial interview.
At the very least, speak to someone about your intuition. Verbalizing what you feel helps validate what you sense, especially when it’s with respect to weighing the risks and benefits of bringing certain candidates on board.
For help developing a hiring process within your company, call us at (732)385-1522 to see how our coaches can help!