Most hiring managers believe they conduct good interviews with job candidates. Unfortunately, they are not getting enough of the right information to make good hiring decisions. The added challenge they experience is that many candidates come well-prepared, but rely on canned answers to the same common questions.
How do you…
- Prepare the right interview questions to get a real picture of the job candidates?
- Use good objective data to provide consistent job fit insights?
- Know if candidates have the right technical and people skills?
Using your interview time effectively requires asking the right questions. Then, you can have a conversation to determine job fit. It’s important to remember the interview should be only one part of a well-designed strategic hiring process. The other key parts include assessments and due diligence.
Note: It’s easy to fall for candidates who say the right things. (We’ve all been guilty of doing this.) Instead, invite them back for a follow-up interview. Do this after you’ve selected at least two other job candidates for follow-up interviews. This practice prevents surprises!
How to Create Good Interview Questions to Attract Top Talent
1. What are you looking for? While this may seem obvious, too often, hiring bosses don’t spend enough time answering this question. This is where you get real about what and who you need. Then, brainstorm the required skills for the position. Remember, it’s a new normal, and business requirements have changed.
Ask and brainstorm:
- What actual qualities are required?
- What does the right candidate need to accomplish in 30-60-90-180 days?
- What job fit assessment is best to see the “whole person?”
For example, if you’re seeking someone who can sell, can they generate leads, close, and provide good customer care? Use a qualified job fit assessment and the provided interview questions to deep dive.
2. Do your questions meet legal requirements? Too often we want to ask about recent books and movies a person has read or seen. Unless you are a bookseller, this can get you into trouble. Why? You will infer characteristics about the person without factual data. As you already know, stay away from questions about a candidate’s lifestyle, childcare, age, race, religion, or gender type, to name a few.
For example, a hiring manager asked a candidate about the most recent book he’d read. He said, “Jaws.” She refused to talk with him further inferring he was an angry person.
3. Keep your questions focused on required job skills. When you ask good questions about job skills, use the Rule of 3. It will help you determine the depth and breadth of their skills.
Here’s an example of using the Rule of 3 to hire a project manager:
- How do you handle team conflict? Can you give me an example?
- What were the results?
- If I talked with the team, how would they describe your leadership skills?
4.Are they willing to take on new assignments and learn new processes? Many will say, “sure.” Again, use the Rule of 3 to determine their true willingness. When you deep dive, you’ll hear their willingness (or unwillingness) to learn new things. Don’t dismiss their reactions!
5. Listen for how they interact with others. Ask about working relationships with previous work teams, bosses, and customers. Ask for examples and don’t be afraid to deep dive to determine their ability to use good people skills.
Many years ago, I conducted a final interview with an experienced general manager for a business owner. Each time she talked about her past three jobs and working relationships with each business owner, she was negative. When I asked if she was aware of her negativity, she gave me an honest, “no.” I then shared with her that this company likely would be no different.
©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved
Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. She is an expert in guiding leaders and their teams to get unstuck and achieve dynamic results. These types of results start with hiring the right person the first time! Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.