3 Interview Questions To Help You Hire The Right People
While hiring the right person can be difficult, these three interview questions can make you more confident about your interview process.
Most entrepreneurs will agree the most valuable asset for any business is its people. In most industries, successfully growing your business without hiring the right people is tremendously difficult, if not impossible. The best leaders know an organization is only as good as the people who work there. Top tech firms like Apple, Google and Microsoft know this — it’s why they spend millions of dollars each year on recruitment alone.
Hiring people is easy. Hiring the right people is one of the most challenging tasks faced by business executives. In my years of experience founding and seeding ventures across multiple industries, I’ve learned that digging deeper in interviews by asking in-depth, thought-provoking questions is the first step to hiring the right people. To help you find the best people for your company, I’m going to share three of the most powerful interview questions I’ve used when building my teams.
1. What research did you do in advance of applying with us? What do you know about this position and our company?
On the surface, this question may seem like a softball. But asking it serves as a way to weed out applicants who are unmotivated or unqualified. Taking the opportunity to learn everything they can about their potential employer and role shows gives me an insight into an applicant’s ability to take initiative. A dynamic leader understands team members will have gaps in their knowledge. They also know candidates who demonstrate research abilities will fill those gaps when the need arises.
Whether you’re hiring a programmer, an accountant or a marketing professional, the ability and willingness to do accurate research can’t be overvalued. If a potential employee can’t take a short amount of time to research our company and the position they are applying for, they’re probably not someone I want on my team.
2. What would be your personal goals in this position and what do you need from me as a potential employer in order to achieve them?
It’s important to learn why someone has applied for your job opening beyond the obvious reason of simply needing work. As entrepreneurs, we need to be conscious of the fact that not everyone has the same drive we do. There are plenty of extremely talented people whose only aspirations are to find a comfortable role that lets them earn a living by utilizing their professional skills. Not everyone is destined to lead a company, or even be a manager. And there’s nothing wrong with that. The last thing you want to do is push a talented person away because they feel pressured to take on more responsibility than they’re comfortable with.
Interviews are a two-way street. A sizable part of assessing a candidate’s fit within your company is self-evaluating your ability to accommodate their ideal professional environment. Speaking with a candidate about individual goals they have for a position will help you better understand how their personal aspirations can be translated into success for your organization. Effective leadership requires the empowerment of your team members to achieve their professional objectives under your direction.
3. In your opinion, what should I, as someone who is about to hire you, be most concerned about?
We’ve all heard the classic interview question, “Tell me about your biggest weakness.” It’s an easy way to make a candidate squirm, but the answers this question elicits are generally of no value to the hiring manager. No applicant who wants the job is going to give a thoughtful answer to this question.
To get a more useful answer here, I like to ask applicants what I should be concerned about as someone who is about to hire them. In my experience, this question forces the interviewee to reflect upon situations where they’ve come up short in the past, despite their best efforts. The question also compels candidates to imagine themselves working in the role already and to visualize a situation where they may let me down. Getting an honest, thought-out response here can provide the interviewer with valuable insight into a candidate’s ability to self-assess and their potential for personal development.
I’m sure you already have a handful of well-seasoned questions you use in each interview. But ask yourself, “Are these questions really getting me the information I need in order to hire the best people. Or am I asking them out of habit? ” If you answered anything other than yes, I encourage you to give my questions a try and see if you like the results.
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