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Seven Tips for Conducting an Interview

1 minute Read

conducting interviewWatching your business grow is one of the most exciting parts of being a small business owner. But growth comes with new challenges, one of the biggest is finding the right talent to help drive your company forward. In fact, even when you’re sure you’ve brought on a talented individual, there is always some initial uncertainty involved with bringing any new hire aboard.

Knowing how to conduct a successful interview is one of the best ways to mitigate this risk. The following seven points are guidelines to help you conduct more effective and efficient interviews so you can find the person who is just right for your small business.

1. Learn how to vet candidates. It’s easy to get bogged down in resumes. So, first and foremost, you should have some system in place that allows you to cut through the paperwork and focus on the qualified candidates. It might be worthwhile to hire a consultant who has experience with recruitment to help you do this.

2. Prepare key questions. This is one of the most important steps and requires a combination of creativity and a deep understanding of your business needs. Think of what qualities and characteristics you’d like to see in your ideal candidate. Ask questions that really get to the heart of what you’re looking for.

3. Review their qualifications. In addition to addressing your key questions, you want to prepare some more personal or catered questions for each candidate. Once you have a pool of candidates to interview, review their qualifications and come up with questions that relate to their experience.

4. Build a rapport. At the beginning of the interview, try to make the person you’re sitting down with comfortable. If you know of any of their hobbies or interests (from the resume) talk about them. You want them to feel relaxed and comfortable, because if they are, it’s more likely you’ll be able to see their true character.

5. Ask about personal strengths and experiences. When you do, you’re not only looking for hard skills, but you should be gauging their level of self-awareness. Employees who know their limits, those who know what they need to work on and where they can excel, are highly valuable.

6. Ask questions you don’t know the answers to. You probably know the answers you want to hear, but you should also ask questions that are open-ended and that you don’t know the answers to yourself.

7. Lastly. Stay focused, let them do most of the talking, listen closely, take notes and don’t settle until you’ve found that one employee you truly believe will fit in with you and your company.

Photo credit: sylv1rob1/