If you are a manger, you are well aware that hiring the wrong person can destroy a department. Hiring the right person – every time – is the ultimate goal.
So how can you ask interview questions that successfully weed out potential bad seeds? Here are 4 strategies to adopt.
#1 = Ask behavior-based questions for job competence.
Consider the competencies needed for the job. Does the applicant need to use a certain software? Do they need to dominate in sales? Do they need to design and follow a budget? Do they need to engage in strategic planning? Do they need to fill out TPS reports? Whatever the case may be, design questions that address each one. You will want to ask questions that lead with the following: Tell me about a time when you had to XYZ… in order to get a clear picture on whether the candidate has the skill needed and whether they are competent in it.
#2 = Ask scenario-based questions for job values and soft skills.
Consider the values needed for your job. Does the candidate need to value hard-work? Does the candidate need to value respect? What about punctuality? Or working through a clearly defined hierarchy? And consider soft-skills. Does the candidate need to collaborate with others? Work independently? Perform under pressure? Resolve conflict? Whatever the case may be, design questions that address each one. You will want to ask questions that lead with a description of a recent (and real) workplace scenario where the value or skill was needed, and then conclude by asking the candidate directly how they would have handled the situation.
#3 = Ask life goal questions for role fit.
Consider how long this person will be employeed with you and how much training will be required for them. You do not want to train someone for a year to simply have them leave shortly after. Most workers like to stay in positions for 2-7 years. That’s a big spectrum! You will want to ask 5 or so questions that required candidates to speak at length about their career history, their present motivation, and their future ambition. This will help you gain clarity on where they have been, where they are now, and where they are going in life. You should also directly ask, “How does this position fit into your life goals?” If they don’t have an answer, they most likely are not the right person for the job.
#4 = Ask expectation questions for retention.
It is never too soon to set expectations. Therefore setting expectations at the interview is a must. What is your applicant expecting from this job and from your company? What do they expect in terms of work/life balance? Workplace culture? Training and development? Promotion potential? Salary? Travel? The pace of the work environment? And the type of work itself? If expectations do not match up once your hire is in place you are guaranteed to have problems with retention. You will want to ask each candidate about their expectations directly and be prepared to counter expectations that are not aligned with standards used in your organization.
Before posting for a position you therefore need a clear understanding of the following key items: 1) competencies and soft skills required by the job, 2) your company values, and 3) what strategies you use to grow, develop, and promote talent once they are hired.
Planning out these items, and asking questions directly linked to each, will help you make a great hiring choice. Avoid the pressure to just get a warm body into the position because you are short-staffed. Once a new hire is present, they can make or break a department. This is a decision you do not want to rush.
Sign-up to receive more blog posts and other updates from Lion Leadership by clicking HERE.
Each month 1 email subscriber is selected for 2 hours of FREE consulting from Lion Leadership.
That’s over a $400 value!
Dr. Ganem is founder and director of Lion Leadership, a company that helps growing businesses with talent management and organizational effectiveness. She is primary writer for the ROAR blog at www.ImTheLion.com where readers gain perspective on themselves, their organizations, and how to reach their potential at work.