A Few Reminders in How to Conduct an Effective Interview

As a small business owner, hiring is a practice you may not need to do on a regular basis. In fact, unless you are expanding your business it may be best that you do as little hiring as possible as that would suggest you found the right people the first time around. Except, we do not always get it right the first time. Sometimes it is a poor judgment call on our part, while other times unexpected events conspire against us. Whatever the reason, it’s good to make sure that your interviewing skills remain sharp. As we all know, it’s a particular kind of frustration or disappointment when we invest time, money, and resources into hiring and training someone, only for them not to work out. With that in mind, here are a few points to remember when conducting an interview.

1. Pay attention to the potential employee’s non-verbal communication when you meet and greet them.

Yes, numerous successful business practices involve highly complex and theoretical tactics, but there are still some that are best executed by relying on the observation of fundamental human behaviors. Does the individual exhibit confidence? Are they looking you in the eye? Do they seem excited to be given this opportunity? All these and more can be clear indications of the potential employee’s preparedness and willingness to do the job. In effect, it offers you a window into who this person that you are considering bringing into your company really is.

2. Give them a chance to be successful.

Namely, when you sit down to begin the interview allow them to relieve some of their anxiety by letting them acclimate to the situation. You can quickly do this by briefly talking about the company and the position. This will allow the individual a chance to gain their composure and to act more naturally. Often, our expectations do not let a potential employee an opportunity to succeed.

3. During the interview, avoid questions that require a “yes” or “no” response.

As you will notice, the trend here is to find out whom you are really considering paying to handle parts of your business. By having them respond, in short, extemporaneous answers, you again get to see better who these people are and how they think and react. In fact, if they stumble when answering it gives you an excellent opportunity to witness how they deal with adversity and increased pressure.

4. Finally, after you have asked all of your questions, give them a chance to ask their questions.

Don’t forget; they may want to vet you as much as you want to vet them. This is also a subtle way for you to learn their perceptions of the position and what’s required of them. Ultimately, when they know exactly what’s expected of them and are comfortable with it, the understanding makes for a more symbiotic work relationship.


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