Remember what it was like the last time you realized you needed to fill a job when someone left your team?
Did you panic? Did you ignore it until it was too late? Did you just hire a someone with a pulse?
If you think the best resumé is one that just lists previous duties with their candidate’s name at the top, you’ll interview the wrong people.
If you think interviewing is just a “pep talk” about the job duties with the main person you like, you’ll let top talent go elsewhere.
In today’s marketplace, if you interview candidates making these mistakes, it will cost you mega bucks and lots of lost time.
Hire Tips: Key Things You Should Always Do to Prepare For an Interview
I want you to be successful in every interview you participate in. I’ve seen some of the worst interview questions on the planet, and the worst candidates too.
Here’s a list of three key things you’ll need to do to know you’ll be sharper at interviews than Larry King.
This process will help you craft awesome questions and separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to your candidates.
Create a list of skill sets or competencies for the position. Ask yourself – given the duties they need to fulfill, what skill sets will they need to have to be successful? Write them down, listing from 8 to 15 skill sets.
Prioritize skill set importance. Assign a rank order of importance. Is answering phones with a customer focus more important than shipping out packages within 24 hours? You need to decide the priority of skills.
There are three types of questions I recommend you use based on your prioritized skill sets – behavioral questions, puzzle questions and character based questions. Let me explain the three types:
- Behavioral questions uncovers past behavior with those skill sets and usually begins with “Tell me about a time when…”
- Puzzle questions will tell you how they might solve future problems and usually begins with “What if…”
- Finally, use one or two character based questions, which have the flavor of “What strengths qualify you to be offered this position above all other applicants?”
I recommend using 75% behavioral questions, 20% puzzle questions, and 5% character questions, you’ll have a well rounded approach to your interview.
When hiring, win the right candidate with skill sets – not likability, good vibes, or smokin’ hot looks! (tweet this to share)
Now that we’re ready, when it comes to holding the interviews, what do you need to do?
Three Things Their Resumé Will Tell You About Their Work Ethic
When screening candidate applications, read the resumés for three things it will tell you about the candidate:
Design and formatting.
Does the resumé look neat, organized and easy to read? Is the text cramped, using too many fonts, crazy colors, or in all caps? This can reflect work products they’ll produce if you hire them on your team.
Layout of information.
Does it make sense and is the most important information at the top of the resumé? Are key skills and headlines at the top of the resumé? This will tell you if they can organize and summarize their thoughts and ideas.
Information match to your job.
Does information match to your prioritized skill sets? At a glance, how close might this resumé fit for the skill sets of the position? Are your most important needs conveyed in the resumé?
I recommend giving all scanned resumés a scale of 1 to 10 for fit with the position to save you time when reading through them. If the resumé ranks hire than a 6, pull it aside for deeper consideration. If you are only working off job applications, do the same thing in this process of screening for information match.
Hiring Gold: Conducting the Ultimate Interview
Listen way more than you talk. Listen first by talking only 5% of the time during interview. Hiring managers can be blabber mouths. All you need to do is frame the session by telling them the agenda of the interview.
Next, focus on the candidates. How? Ask your interview questions. Ask any questions you have about the resumé information. Finally, answer questions they have about the organization and team. Let them do the rest of the talking during the interview.
Always watch to see if body language and verbal answer match. If the answer was positive, was the body language also? Or did their body language close down while trying to give a positive answer? If they did, ask a clarifying question.
Here’s where personality matters. They have to fit with the team, and you’ll likely supervise them. How well matched is the candidate for the team and for your leadership style? This should have some bearing on the process, but not too much.
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Bonus Tip: The One Factor that Can Hurt Your if You Overlook This
We’re all human. You can’t always have the selection pool you want. Sometimes you don’t get top talent applying for your position.
I feel your frustration, but if you overlook candidates due to lack of experience – you could be missing recruitment and long retention of a great employee.
Let me explain. Many times if someone doesn’t have skills in a role, they are willing to work very hard to learn and use those skills.
They want to reciprocate the good faith of hiring them. If they will be coachable, you could have a diamond in the coal.
Other times you’ll get a great candidate pool and it can be hard to choose the right candidate because you want five of them.
Remember that they are assessing you as well. Be honest and forthright with ever candidate.
What experiences have you had hiring employees? What’s worked for you? What didn’t go so well? Leave a comment so we can dialogue.