Last month we covered interview preparation, provided sample reference questions, identified physical areas for conducting an interview and we established an interview agenda.
This month we will learn how to probe for traits and characteristics of a potential employee, review some sample interview questions and finally, we will wrap-up the interview process.
Probing for Traits/Characteristics
This is the moment you’ve been waiting for! It also happens to be the moment that many managers fear most. Many fear that they will not collect enough information with which to make an educated hiring decision – in which case they should be afraid! However, as long as you are well-prepared, you should have nothing to worry about. The key is to keep asking questions until you are satisfied that you have enough information to form an opinion on a prospective employee.
One tactic that is particularly effective in probing for traits is asking open-ended questions. That is, questions that cannot be answered with a one-word response such as “Yes” or “No”. Ask questions beginning with “How” or “Why”.
Proper note taking is essential. You may be conducting several interviews in a given day. Without thorough notes, you may not be able to accurately rate, and compare, candidates.
- How did you get your last job?
- Why do people trust you with responsibility?
- Why do you work such early morning hours?
- How do you juggle your family and work life?
- How frequently did you handle the company’s money for your last job?
- What would your last employer say about your performance?
- Hard Working
- Why would you work such a physically straining job?
- How do you plan to achieve your life’s goals?
- How many hours in a week would you be willing to work?
- Tell me about a past job where you worked long hours.
- Needs Money
- How do you plan to achieve your financial goals?
- At what age do you want to retire?
- How many hours of overtime did you work at your last job?
- Why do you take the bus instead of buying a car?
- Mechanically Inclined
- Tell me about the last time you had car trouble?
- Why did you replace your garage door instead of hiring a pro?
- How would you describe your ability to fix things?
- What is the first thing you think of when your car won’t start?
- Enjoys Being Outside
- What sort of free-time activities do you enjoy?
- Who does the yard work at your house?
- How many days would you work on an average roofing job?
- What are your favorite vacation spots?
- Typically, what does your work area look like?
- In your last job, what tasks were you asked to re-do? Why?
- What do you use to organize your day/month/year?
- If I were to see you walking down the street on your day off, what would you look like?
- What clothes are most comfortable for you?
- How frequently do you get your hair cut?
- At what point do you throw away a pair of shoes?
- Work With Public
- How would your friends describe your personality?
- What are your favorite events to attend?
- Tell me about a difficult customer you’ve dealt with and how it was resolved?
- What jobs have you had that put you face to face with the public?
- Good Attitude
- Describe your last employer.
- Describe your last job.
- What did you like best about your previous job/employer?
- What did you like least about your previous job/employer?
Now that you have collected all of the data that you need to make a hiring decision, you now want to turn the floor over to the candidate for any questions that they may have.
If you think you want to hire this person, you must accomplish the following during the ensuing question and answer:
- Sell the benefits of the job.
- Set proper expectations.
- Handle objections.
- Ask them if they were offered the position, would they take it.
- Ask them if they were offered the position, when they would be able to start.
Using the information in this article should help you fine tune your hiring process. Remember to take your time and hire the right person for the job. Mistakes in the hiring process are anxiety-ridden and can be very costly.