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Building Your Team: Part Four

The Interview

Congratulations on making it to the interview stage! You’re well on your way to hiring that sought-after employee. Before you meet candidates face-to-face, however, it may be a good idea to examine your interview approach. 

Interview Styles
 
Often standard Q & A sessions can result in a candidate telling you what you want to hear rather than a true profile of his or her experiences.  To get around this hurdle, consider the various “outside of the box” ways you can assess the skills of a potential employee.  It is important to note that no two interviews are exactly the same – nor should they be. Therefore, approach the interview component in the manner most suited to you and your company culture.       

Many employers opt to have a less formal “conversation” with job applicants to see whether or not they would be a good fit with the company.  This can be an excellent method, as it allows interviewees to feel more at ease (just be sure to ask pertinent questions in the process!).  Other employers, on the other hand, believe in rigorous testing in order to assess what applicants can do while under pressure.  While these approaches are not for everyone, they provide solid examples of less traditional – albeit equally effective – avenues for interviewing. 
 
If you’re more of a traditionalist at heart, then stick to thought-provoking behavioral questions.  This can be as simple as revamping standard interview questions in a way that will get applicants thinking on their feet.  For example, the ever-important question “are you punctual?” can be more effective when changed to “how did it make you feel when you were late for work?”  This will eliminate the opportunity for canned responses and give you a better idea of a candidate’s past job performance. 

The Selection Process

Following the interview, you may be lucky enough to have a clear cut idea of who you would like to hire.  Unfortunately, this is not always the case.  Be sure to keep meticulous records of candidates and their various skills, experiences, and personality traits for post-interview analysis.  Consider incorporating a grading scale to highlight how much knowledge an applicant has about the different job components at hand. 

Don’t Settle

What happens if there aren’t any candidates who meet your specified job criteria?  Do not settle!  In no circumstance should you hire someone about whom you are not entirely confident.  If required, perform a second interview or start the hiring process over again.  Although it may seem daunting to start from scratch, it will save you from having to train someone that may not perform to your expectations down the road. 

Hiring the right person certainly isn’t easy, but it is an incredibly rewarding prospect. With a little consideration, organization, and interviewing prowess, you’ll be able to create the efficient, talented team that every business owner desires.