Hire Right the First Time
You become a valuable contributor to the corporate balance sheet by hiring quality people the first time. If you control the costs of a bad hiring decision, you can impact the bottom line in your organization. Mistakes go beyond losing the services of one person. There are administrative expenses and indirect costs to the business, including diminished productivity in the weeks before the employee leaves. Increased workloads, and the disruption in operational flow for the people who remain, reduce the effectiveness of everyone.
In preparing for the interview, decide what you want to know. Ask each candidate the same or similar questions. It is much easier to compare candidates if you measure everyone against the same criteria. If you develop your questions before the interview, based on the information you need to know, you can increase your confidence. It’s true you’ll probe for additional information based on individual responses, but you’ll still initially ask each candidate the same or similar questions.
Questions on employment application forms and those asked during pre-employment interviews have traditionally been instruments for early elimination of “unsuited” or “unqualified” people from consideration for employment. They are also used to restrict or deny employment opportunities for women and minorities. Therefore, be sure you ask only job-related questions. Some of my favorites include behavior-based questions. Ask the candidate to share past successes and failures.
Fine-Tune Interviewing Skills
Most schools and organizations do not teach their managers how to interview. Often we hire people for the wrong reasons and wind up with employees that are a bad fit for the job and the department. Many people hire only those people they think are like them.
Avoid Legal Problems
Asking the right questions helps insure legally compliant interviews. Good questions keep you focused and help you maintain control of the interview. The best questions are probing, and require the candidate explain the “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” “why,” and “how” of their skills and work experience. Candidates can easily answer the “what” questions. But the “how” questions require candidates to explain in detail how they did something. If they have not done it, they won’t be able to fake it. It is nearly impossible to answer the “how” question and show depth and knowledge without having performed the task.
Some managers hire purely on “gut feelings” or intuition. That can also lead to disastrous results. They both play a role in the hiring process, but should be used as a confirmation after a series of pre-planned questions are asked during the interview. Beyond the questioning, hire for attitude–everything else is secondary. Then if necessary, train for required skills. There is a prophetic axiom that applies here: “People are hired for aptitude and fired for attitude.”
Because of the keen competition for talent, recruiting and hiring people who are eager to learn may be your best strategy. It is important to note most organizations grow their own talent through training.
Lack of Preparation
The biggest mistake managers make is not properly preparing for the interview. We have simplified the process. We have created a guide loaded with 350 great interview questions. When used in a systematic approach to interviewing, they will help you get the information you need to hire the best person for the job.
The book is divided into eight chapters. Each chapter is further divided into categories for ease of use. This SIMPLIFIES the process, SAVES you time, and makes the interview less STRESSFUL, and more productive.
Prior to the interview, use this book to select the applicable questions you need to ask based on the position you need to hire. Questions are subdivided into logical categories making the process even simpler. The categories are:
Chapter 1 – Education – Research indicates people who did not use their abilities in school will not give their best on the job. You will learn how to effectively explore the candidate’s educational background.
Chapter 2 – Work experience – Some of the toughest and most revealing questions fall under this category. You will learn how to gain the information you are seeking, how to listen for specific answers and think in terms of your needs.
Chapter 3 – Initiative – Initiative cannot be taught! It is a trait many managers value highly in employees. You will learn to probe to find out if the candidate is a self-starter, or needs a lot of encouragement to get the job done.
Chapter 4 – Leadership – Effective leaders know how to delegate, manage a meeting, gain cooperation, and resolve conflict. You will learn how to look for weaknesses in the candidate, that will be revealed in answers to your questions.
Chapter 5 – Interpersonal Skills – You want to identify and hire people with outstanding interpersonal skills. You will learn to accurately measure the candidate’s ability to get along with others. You will learn to identify people with positive outlooks!
Chapter 6 – Sales – Turnover is often high in the field of sales. High self-esteem is an important ingredient in a successful sales associate. You will learn to identify how the candidate organizes time, sets goals, manages priorities, handles disappointments, and difficult customers.
Chapter 7 – Problem Solving/Decision Making – These behavior-based questions will help you determine whether or not a candidate can accept authority, delegate when necessary, and follow through on assignments. You will learn to look for basic intelligence, common sense and maturity, and how they handle problems and opportunities.
Chapter 8 – General Questions – This final selection of questions explores a variety of areas. You will learn to decide what you want to ask, and stick to your list. You will learn how to use these questions to get a final perspective on the candidate, and successfully complete your interview.
I cannot tell you what a great and helpful resource this book is. Carol Hacker wrote this amazing tool and has sold thousands of copies. It has been a best-seller with many human resource organizations, including the Society of Human Resource Managers. (SHRM)