As a leader in your business, you are going to have to bring on teammates that know how to work both smart and hard. But how do you make sure you are working with the right people? It all starts at the beginning with the interview process. Interviews are one of, if not the single most important part of a professional relationship. Conducting an interview with the same set of average questions will result in average interview results. This is your time as a business owner, manager, or potential future teammate to get to know and understand some ones goals and habits…so make the most of it by conducting an effective interview!
Lay out an agenda from the start
All too often in interviews people run out of time to cover everything they had initially planned. When left to chance, the interviewer might not get to understand the candidate as much as they had hoped for. The interviewee might not have been able to provide a full picture of their career path and goals. By laying out an agenda from the start, interviewers are able to set time parameters and expectations. Try breaking the interview up into separate parts such as personal background, technical skills, goals, and personal likes. Always make sure both you and the interviewee are aware of how much time is available from the start and even midway through the conversation.
Be candid about current challenges
When it comes to talking about your business in an interview, don’t be afraid to discuss the challenges you are currently facing. Two of the four point of analysis in a SWOT test are weaknesses and threats. To be facing challenges as a business should not be something unexpected. In fact, I would argue that if you say your company structure or way of business has nothing to worry about, then something is definitely heading down the wrong path. As you conduct an interview, it is important to prepare the interviewee for what he or she might have to be working with. Sharing current challenges upfront could save a lot of time and money by weeding out candidates early on in the process who might not be up for the challenge or who are under qualified.
Share the current vision for the team
As you conduct the interview share the current vision for the team. This might include the role that you are trying to fill, who they will be working with, what goals they should set for themselves as well as how their individual goal should fit in with the rest of the team. Not only should you share what the team is currently working on, but also what the team would like to be working towards. After all, vision for a team is not just what is immediately in front of them, but also what lies ahead. If the opportunity is there, share with the candidate where you see their potential taking them in 6 months or a year down the road. This can help set clear expectations and provide motivation, both of which are signs of a happy and effective employee.
What traits do you see the candidate developing as they work along side you and your team? What type of growth do you expect to see as they learn the ropes so to speak? Make it clear what you expect them to learn and where they will fit within the composition of the team. This is extremely important for any company that relies on sales and goal setting. There will be discomfort and stretching but with these come growth and development.
Share the day in, day out of the business
When you are looking to bring on a new member of the team you want to make sure the potential new employee knows what they getting themselves into. Allow them to peek behind the curtain and see just what each day is like for members of the team. Share with them things like how often meetings will occur, weekly or monthly occurrences, and special dates that are coming up on the horizon. Does your team work with daily goals such as number of sales expected? This might be something that will give a good idea of how your team operates and what is expected with the daily tasks.
Interviews can be an excellent learning opportunity for everyone involved. It can be a great time for potential candidates to learn about your business and it is a great way to learn about someones character and work habits. Make the most of the time you have and build the best team possible!
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