Hiring a new employee is a lot like a first date – both parties are presenting their most attractive image and the day-to-day interactions to follow are often very different. You will have some basic information about the person's background, but how can you be certain that the person who shows up for an interview is going to bring the same standards and character to work everyday?
You don't have to be psychic to predict the future and pick the right candidate, but you do need to have the right questions and be perceptive to the tone, ease and insight of the interviewee's response.
Here are 10 best practices for interviewing to help find the right match.
1. What’s your story?
This casual question provides insight to the candidate’s personal view of themselves, their ambitions and their values.
2. What do you consider you greatest professional achievement?
This question reveals what the candidate values and opens the door for follow up questions about their work career.
3. Tell me about a time that something at your job didn’t work how you wanted.
By asking for a previous disappointment, you can often interpret how the interviewee handles defeat, if they accept responsibility or are victimized, and if they turn it into a positive result with opportunity to grow and learn.
4. What part of this job do you like the least?
Honesty, if you can obtain it, will reveal where this person will need more training or time. Be persistent and ask it in a different way later if the opportunity arises.
5. At what point in your life have you been most satisfied?
Professional life and personal life may be separate entities at your company, but there will still be evidence of the qualities that the candidate values and if those align with the environment of your company.
6. What do you think our company is doing right and what can we be better at or improve?
This demands honesty and can also provide insight to weaknesses in your marketing, transparency and public representation. You will see first hand how the candidate delivers critiques and also reveal the strengths of the candidate (the suggested improvements are often the areas that he or she are most skilled and confident).
7. Have you had a good manager in the past? Tell me about that relationship.
Understanding the dynamics of a previous working relationship will highlight what this candidate needs to be successful and the qualities of work environment that make them thrive.
8. How do you see this job will contribute to your advancement in your career?
Similar to the “Where do you see yourself in 5 years” question, this question will get a more direct and relevant answer about the ambitions and path of their future achievements.
9. What is your understanding of the job requirements and what do you think would improve the position if we were give you an offer?
You may be hesitant to offer false hope, but pay, hours and benefits are the determining factors for a long-term employee. You will have better success if you open the conversation for expectations early.
10. Would you be open to a drug screening and background check about your educational history, employment history and criminal history? Is there any thing that may come up on that report that I should be aware of?
Statistics from many sources reveal that 50-60% of applicants provide false information. A background check can reveal inconsistencies and presenting this common practice to the candidate openly will reveal more about his or her character.