Hiring the best person for your company isn’t an easy job. It can take months to set everything up, go through the resumes and conduct interviews. But precisely because this job is so time-consuming and important to the company, you need to be more careful when hiring to make sure that you have opted for the best person.
There are many ways to get a good feel as to whether the candidate is good for your company or not.
Here are some tips:
1. Have a phone interview as a pre-screen
In order to go through some of the deal breakers – both for you and the candidate – have a phone screen before inviting anyone in for an interview. This way, if either of you aren’t interested, you don’t have to waste time or energy later on. Talk about skills, responsibilities, salary, culture, work history and so on. Once that’s out of the way, you’ll have more time to truly test the candidate during an interview.
2. Take your time when it comes to hiring
Never let the urgency of filling a vacancy rush you into hiring the wrong candidate. This has happened so many times in so many companies. In the end, most of them had to fire the employee within 30 days because they just weren’t the right fit for the company or didn’t deliver any results. Take your time to get to know the person and then hire them.
3. Listen to their questions
By letting the candidate ask their own questions you can get a pretty good idea for what they are like. If they came prepared and passionate about the job, their questions will be good and they will make you think. On the other hand, if the candidate is just not right for you, you’ll probably hear none or a few generic ones which is not ideal. This means that the candidate doesn’t quite get your company or knows nothing about it. It could also mean that they are not passionate about the job.
4. Ask good questions
Likewise, you need to be prepared to ask good, inquisitive questions. The kind of questions that will peek into their mind and give you a better sense of what they expect, if they would fit and so on.
Ask about specific scenarios that might happen to someone. Let them give you an answer out of that situation. Ask them ‘why’ when they talk about their success. Why did they succeed? Why did they fail? These questions will lead you to the true face of that person and their ability to learn, fail and grow.
5. Make sure they fit into the company culture
Many companies consider skills the most important element of any person – corporate culture has nothing to do with their hiring. However, you need to make sure that the candidate would fit in. Walk them around the office if you can, let them be there while the team takes a break so they can meet some of the team if you think they’d be a good fit. Let them see your culture and watch for their reactions before you make any decisions.
6. Give them a problem to solve or a project to complete
This is often called a job audition but it’s one of the most effective ways to get a good gauge of their skills and see how those skills would work for your company. Give them a problem – imaginary or real – and ask them how they would solve it. You can also give them a project and ask them what they would do, what would their strategy be.
7. Conduct the interview in a different environment
Interview rooms are often predictable and no matter how nervous they might be, they make the candidates comfortable. Consider taking them out to lunch, on a team beer night or something similar. This will help you see who the person really is and how they fit in with your team.
8. Ask them about something that’s important to them
This is one of the best techniques out there. Candidates often practise interviews and you can’t see much passion there most of the time. However, one way to get a good sense of who they are as a person is to ask them about something that’s really important to them. Are they collecting something? Painting? Playing an instrument? Listen to them talk about these things and you’ll be able to get to know the person.
9. Get feedback from people they meet
Other people in the company that have met them – your assistant, other team members, anyone they stumbled upon before or after the interview – probably have their own opinions or impression of the candidate. The best part is, they don’t have their guard up while outside of the interview. So, maybe they were really rude or condescending or maybe they were really nice, positive and helpful to other people and so on.
10. See if they are a team player
This is one of the most important things you will have to find out. For one, look at their history – did they lead a team or were they a part of one? How did they perform? Were there any issues? Ask them about it. See how they interact with your teams. The last thing you need is a creative who can’t collaborate because they are too ‘unique’ or a jerk that only looks out for himself. The person has to be deeply cooperative and help the team thrive.
11. Pay attention if they have the growth mindset
“Most companies don’t consider this as important as some other elements but the growth mindset in all employees can only help you grow your company. See if they believe in always learning, always improving. Ask them if they learned a new skill recently or if they changed something about their life and so on,” says Janelle Tiffany, a regular contributor to Draftbeyond and Writinity.
12. How do they handle their mistakes?
This is a great way to get to know a person and what working with them will be like. Most people don’t like to admit their mistakes but they still do, and they learn from them. However, some people will never admit a mistake and you probably want to stay away from that kind of person. They will always blame everyone but themselves and the failure will not teach them anything.
13. Are they a positive, communicative person?
The last thing any team needs is someone to ruin a good, positive mood. They also don’t need someone who doesn’t like to communicate their issues, ideas and so on. Team is all about talking – if the candidate isn’t quite like that, you might want to reconsider hiring them.
14. Ask questions that will help you understand their personality
“Ask them questions that may seem silly but that will definitely help you get to know them better. For instance, are they a cat or a dog person, what their favorite song is or something else – it’s entirely up to you. For example, the questions you usually ask when you get to know a person outside of work,” says Angelina Brandi, an author at Researchpapersuk and Last Minute Writing.
Finding just the right candidate with a right set of skills, the right mindset that fits in well with your team may prove more difficult than hiring just anyone. However, the value of this employee to your company far surpasses the effort it took to hire them. Look at the bigger picture and use these tips to hire your next employee.