Employees are the main asset of almost any company. Your profits directly depend on how well your subordinates perform. That’s why you should be interested in hiring the best of the best. In this article we’re going to break down how to interview someone to find that A-Player.
But will they come to work for you?
An important step in this endeavor is the interview process.
When executed correctly, the interviewing process yields a well-coordinated team which works together as a single unit.
The question is — how does a business owner do this properly?
We will share with you the key principles necessary for a manager to hire employees. After reading this article, you will grasp the process of how to interview someone successfully.
So, here are the basic principles of how to hire the right employees…
In a way, recruitment and hiring is a bit like fishing.
Experienced fishermen know what fish they want to catch and what bait will take the bait. You wouldn’t use the same bait to catch bass in the lake as you would to catch King Salmon in Alaska, would you?
It’s the same with hiring — the tools and channels of engagement depend on what kind of talent you want to attract.
The first step is to determine who you need.
Work out a detailed portrait of your target candidate — what kind of employee would be a good fit for the vacant position:
A job ad is an opportunity to attract a candidate (or a few).
Productive employees are proactively curious about what they have to do, and how they can be successful in their position.
To attract such employees, you should describe in the ad what the employee will have to do, the expected results, and what challenges and difficulties await them in the workplace.
A detailed description of work tasks will peak the interest of employees who want (and know how) to produce results, and repel those who want to “get paid just for showing up”.
For an assistant manager vacancy, you could write:
“If you can simultaneously prepare documentation, answer letters, receive incoming calls, and do it all with a smile on your face, send a list of your achievements to…”
The big fish live in the ocean, not in a pond.
Similarly, if you’re looking for productive employees, you need to know where they reside, and that’s where to start your search. Employee search channels are not limited to social media groups and running targeted ads.
HireUA can help you find the perfect candidates — in a short time.
And if candidates are presented to you from an agency, it is extremely likely that they will have a keen interest to work in your company.
Every candidate tries to show themselves favorably. It is not always clear how to choose the best one and whether this person will benefit your company.
We have identified three key hiring factors:
This important factor shows what kind of output an employee will produce in the workplace.
To find out more details about their productivity, ask about the results in their past jobs. Not what they did and what duties they performed, but what product they produced and what results they showed.
Compare the candidate’s answers to the results you expect to get from them.
It is often the case that a person seeks a job for a specific motive.
For example, for some it is only money, for others, it is self-actualization and recognition.
By understanding the motivation of a candidate, you can visualize the quality of their work. If a person is only interested in their own personal benefit, any initiative will be bogged down by the issue of pay.
To find out the candidate’s motivation, ask them, “What attracted you to our vacancy?”, or “What are your criteria for choosing a place to work?”.
In addition, listen to the questions the person asks.
Are they asking about the tasks they will have to perform, or only about how much money they will get and how much vacation time is permitted?
These are the hard knowledge and soft qualities of the candidate.
Soft qualities are usually tested with special tests or questionnaires.
For example, they can show how responsible a person is and whether he or she will be able to work in a team or with an executive.
Professional skills are usually tested with the help of practical exercises. If an employee’s professionalism is not up to par, it can be remedied through internal training and education.
If you conduct your employee search based on these criteria, there is a very good chance that you will end up with a team of productive, motivated, and competent professionals working for you.
Once you have identified a candidate for a position, you need to teach them how to do the job so that they can begin to benefit the company as soon as possible. This can be done by implementing “induction training”. Start the training with two basic courses.
Inform the candidate of the history of the company, describe its structure, and explain how employees communicate. It can also be a good idea to explain the order in which you carry out the company’s main business processes and operations.
A new employee should be given an inside view of the company’s structure, as well as what role the employee and his or her department play.
Give the newcomer the details of their position:
The employee should get a full understanding of the tasks they will be performing. After that, give the employee a work task to show a specific desired result within the first week.
By correctly following the described steps and hiring methods, you will be able to hire people who will start to benefit the company after the shortest possible onboarding process.
Nevertheless, let’s rewind a bit and go back to the interview process.
Questions should be clear and to the point.
Keep in mind: The candidate has also prepared their answers.
He or she may have had several interviews before coming to you. So he or she has learned how to answer most of the standard questions.
If you ask generic questions, you will receive robotic, memorized answers… And we certainly don’t want to turn the interview process into a school exam.
Here are the questions you SHOULDN’T ask:
I promise you, the answers will be something like this:
The person has already answered them, there is no need to duplicate them. First, you will lose time, and second, the candidate will consider you unprepared. “Did they even read my resume?” – They’ll think… and they’ll be right.
People do not like others to be prying into their souls, especially strangers.
Unless, of course, you have the objective to purposely conduct a stressful interview. However, for a job seeker in an online role, this is usually not necessary.
Now, these would be the CORRECT questions:
This way you will make the candidate feel at ease — people like to discuss their own lives. Also, you will get a lot of important information about them which may narrow down their suitability for the role.
If you hire a sales manager — ask them to sell you a fountain pen a la Jordan Belfort, and see what happens.
If you hire a developer, have them answer a couple of questions about code and programming languages.
These are questions along these lines.
By their answers, you can understand the general mindset of the employee.
If most of the answers are positive, it means that the person will help you out in a difficult moment:
They will stay after work to finish an important project, or will sacrifice their day off (for a fee, of course)
It’s always a nice bonus if a candidates hobbies coincide with the profession — it means that the person at work will be engaged in what they are interested in.
Discuss how much the compensation for the job will be, so you both are on the same page.
It was probably discussed on the phone or stated in the job ad.
Discuss the prospects — the person will probably want to know what happens if they perform well. You can ask how much the future employee wants to earn, say, in six months to one year.
This way you will assess the applicant’s appetite and their desired compensation in the future.
A good potential hire always has something to boast about.
Let them tell about credentials, successful projects, and awards. If there are a lot of them, it means that the person is used to working outside the job description and has always strived for more.
The format is roughly as follows: “What will you do if:
By the answers, you will understand how a person will act in emergencies.
The first two or three minutes of the conversation are the most important. Chemistry matters!
You get a general impression of the candidate and build rapport with them.
For most job seekers, the interview is stressful (though that’s not your problem, they need to be able to handle stress).
That said, never hurts to make the person feel at ease: Ask how the weekend was, make small talk about the weather, that type of thing.
In short, reduce the tension in the air and appear personable and approachable.
“Introduce yourself, please”, is not the best way to start a conversation.
You know perfectly well the name of the person who came to you — so call them immediately by their name. And introduce yourself.
This subtle touch makes a big difference — the applicant will not feel like “one of many”. When you do this, candidates (aka your potential future employees) will feel more comfortable.
Evaluate the person as a whole.
Look at how they present themselves (even during an online interview), how they behave, and how they answer questions.
A bored and aloof look, wrinkled clothes, and an unkempt appearance — all of these could be red flags.
An interested candidate who wants to make a good impression on a future employer will try to “look the part” and dress in a professional manner. Usually.
(True, Steve Jobs went to work in flip-flops and didn’t shower for days at a time…. but this is more of an exception to the rule!)
At the same time you are evaluating the job seeker, the job seeker is evaluating you.
The times when people went along with any job, just to have one, are long gone.
There are few good professionals nowadays, and even fewer great ones. And they all know their price.
And it is not always the case that the decision to commence employment is made by the head of the company, especially if the candidate has other options. Therefore, it is important to prepare to answer questions.
Remember, the best candidates have options and are also evaluating you.
The main rule is to be extremely frank and trustworthy.
If you say that the candidate’s salary will be $10,000/month and at the end of the month a person ends up with a $5,000 paycheck, you can forget about employee loyalty.
It’s important to be prepared to answer uncomfortable questions.
At the same time, it is important to establish boundaries and let the person understand who is in charge.
Being too friendly with subordinates is the worst thing imaginable.
Employees feel weakness, and quickly begin to take advantage of it. “Boss-friend” is a losing model.
For some reason, employees begin to think that they are allowed to be late and are above discipline, so respect should be clearly observed at all times…starting at the interview.
Everything remains the same with the interview process, the only difference is (the lack of) a face-to-face meeting.
Microsoft Teams, Google Meeting, Zoom, Skype, phone or video calls, messengers — choose any convenient way.
Don’t spend days emailing back and forth — everything should be done in one session.
While it’s true that remote communication will not give as much information as a face-to-face meeting, you can certainly compensate by requesting a more detailed resume/CV, ask for scans of educational documents to verify credentials, or get in touch with a candidate’s former employers to verify their viability for the desired role.
Weigh the pros and cons by comparing the information.
Put the key qualities first: Work experience, good references.
Analyze how the person answered your questions and draw conclusions. Usually during the conversation, you can understand the person: what they need from working for you, how interested they are in the position, and even their work ethic.
If the candidate performed well — clearly and competently answered all questions, clearly formulated thoughts, and was calm and polite — it indicates serious intentions.
When a candidate is confused in their answers, answers one-syllable or in the formats “I don’t know”, or “I find it difficult to answer” — this is a reason to possibly reconsider.
In any case, weigh all factors when making a decision. All people are different and behave differently in stressful situations.
Now you are ready to conduct your interview.
And to make your initial search for candidates easier, you can always delegate this work to HireUA. A
professional recruitment team will not only save you time but also guarantee you a pool of the best candidates.
But don’t forget: You will have to spend most of your time with these people. Therefore, the final decision is always yours.