Have you ever been to a job interview and nailed it? Maybe you got there and the interviewer wasn't prepared... or maybe you weren't prepared, because you had canned answers to canned questions.
If you're the interviewer, there's a great deal of pressure on you to perform.
You are the first (maybe last) personal interaction you will have with an outsider as a representative of your business.
Here are some thoughts for anyone interviewing an outside hire:
- Your interviewee should be treated like you would treat a potential customer. I have been on countless interviews in my career where I walked away thinking "wow, they don't actually want my business". Not because I wasn't hired, but because the interviewer was completely unprofessional in how they presented themselves and the business. So was the rest of the staff when I was given a tour. If I'm applying for a restaurant job, and you give me a kitchen tour, and the line cook is picking his nose... guess what I remember when taking my wife out to dinner?
- Be Prepared. Read their resume, look up their LinkedIn profile, maybe even their Facebook page. Get to know them like you would a customer- because you're building a relationship, too. When I interview people, I want to know where they grew up, what did their parents do for work, why did they want to get into accounting... etc. If I show up for an interview, and you clearly haven't read my resume, I'm going to leave. Just like you should end the interview if I say "Oh, you make 'xxx'?".
- Send a thank you, even if you aren't hiring them. Stop saying you're too busy for this. From human to human, we all like feedback. Even if I don't get the job, the guy who writes an email thanking me for MY time leaves a positive impression in my mind about the company.
Stop with the CANNED behavioral based questions.
Get to know me! That's right, asking questions like "so tell me about a time when...", or "what's your greatest weakness/strength", or even "what would your last boss say about you" How about... "why do you want to work here?"
You're going to get smart assed answers. Seriously, it's over when you ask me these.
Where are some of your favorite places to vacation? (because someone who lays on the beach has a different personality than someone who backpacks)
What did you have for breakfast this morning? (wow loads of information here...)
If I were to produce a movie about your life, who would play you, and why? (it helps if you know some actors, and if you don't, just play dumb and Google them later)
Be creative. Don't waste their time or yours, because you won't get good data... instead build a relationship.
This can be done at any level, in any business or industry. Yes, you want to also know their hard skills too. But if you want them to fit in, you cannot rely on the answer to "So tell me about a time...."... because I can tell you twelve times it happened. I'd rather hear about how you solve problems, analyze information, and think on your feet.