After interviewing 15 candidates for the same role, it may seem like the perfect choice to go with the one that has the most extensive background. In fact, you may even think that second rounds are unnecessary at this point.
Don’t fall into this trap.
While a candidate’s experience may be invaluable to your business, there are other things that you should look at when qualifying candidates. We argue that these “things to look for” are just as, if not more, important than experience.
Let’s dig into what we need to do when interviewing candidates.
Before the interview:
- Select behavioral attributes (core values) you want all staff to emulate. As part of the STUCK Breakthrough Strategies advising process, we have a tool that helps our clients choose which attributes to evaluate candidates with, list in their job descriptions, and include in performance reviews. Some examples include: “gives honest feedback”, “makes others better”, and “accountable and meets deadlines”.
- Define the key responsibilities of the role you are hiring for. The key responsibilities help you identify what the employee will be doing and will help the candidate understand what the role involves.
- Create your behavioral interview questions. How to Decrease the Risk in Hiring explains how to effectively and easily create behavioral interview questions. This is because the answers to these questions will show how candidates have demonstrated these skills in the past and will foreshadow how they will use them in the future.
When all three of these items are defined, it will be much easier for you to know who your ideal candidate is and will lead you down the path of a successful hire.
During the interview, you need to uncover these important characteristics:
- A culture fit. Hiring someone who doesn’t fit your culture, no matter what their experience is, can cause problems and be disruptive.
- Identify signs that they believe in your vision, business model, and goals. Behavioral interviewing will help with accomplishing this. Make sure that their actions will match their words. Ask questions about these items. Use open ended and behavioral questions to bring about the topics and see if they really understand your business’ goals. In addition, make sure they prove they have the right work ethic and have a willingness to learn by speaking to both. Both attributes are critical when developing a culture of growth.
- They are trustworthy, in more than one way. When we say, “trustworthy”, we mean more than people who don’t steal, lie, or do illegal or unethical things. That’s obvious and is easily remedied. What we mean here are people who can align themselves with the business plan and view the business as something bigger than themselves. When you empower these people, the business becomes easier to scale. This leads, again, to a culture of growth.
Remember, when interviewing candidates, hire someone who uses the business plan to do the right things on their own, understands the mission and its purpose, fits into the company culture, and can make decisions on behalf of the company. When this happens, you likely found a good fit.
Get Unstuck offers more tips on how to grow your start-up or established business. Topics span from creating an effective business plan to valuing your business. Get Unstuck was written by Jerry Jendusa and is based off his story of growing his basement start-up to an international 100M business.