Top Tips to Conduct a Great Interview

Making mistakes during the hiring process can be costly and frustrating. I’ve seen too many business owners make mistakes in their hiring process.

The heart of this process is the in-person interview. After interviewing over 200 people in my career, I’ve found these are some of the best tips for conducting an effective interview.

Beginning an interview without clarity on what the person will be responsible for is a recipe for costly mistakes, frustration, and an early exit for your new hire. Clearly define the job duties and responsibilities before the interview so you can ask relevant questions about the candidate’s experience and qualifications. This also ensures that the candidate knows what is expected of them.

Often business owners are busy and will make hiring decisions based on their “gut” instinct or intuition. While there is real value in this, relying only on your gut creates a bias for personalities you like or are similar to you, and you’ll miss a gem of a hire different from you. Combat this by listing specific skills and qualities important for the position and using them as a guide when creating interview questions.

I’ve sat through far too many interviews where the interviewer did most of the talking; if they ever asked, they were closed questions. Candidates can quickly BS their way through questions like, “Are you good at multi-tasking? or Do you have good computer skills?” These are dumb questions. Ask open-ended questions that allow the candidate to share their experiences and perspective, rather than just asking yes/no or multiple choice questions. Another way to avoid talking too much and becoming the center of attention is to use behavioral-based questions to evaluate the candidate’s past experiences and how they might handle similar situations in the future. For example, “Tell me about a time when you had to work under tight deadlines. How did you handle the pressure and meet the deadline?” Use the interview to learn about the candidate.

A few clients of mine require the candidate to demonstrate the work during the interview. Consider asking the candidate to demonstrate their skills or knowledge through a practical test or by asking them to walk through a sample problem.

Help the candidate get to know where they will be working and get their impressions (both by what they say and what they don’t say). Consider inviting the candidate to tour your facility or work site to see if they are comfortable with the job’s physical demands.

A couple more vital tips include not relying solely on the interview to make a hiring decision. Consider asking for references and verifying their work history and credentials. And make sure to follow up with any follow-up questions or concerns you might have after the interview.

By following these tips, you can effectively evaluate candidates and make informed hiring decisions for blue-collar positions. If you’re ready to take your hiring process to the next level, let’s get on a business discovery call and work out a plan for your specific situation.

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