Business owners are typically great at talking about themselves: why they got into the business, how they are better than the competition, and what they are looking for when they hire employees. But when it comes to interviewing, talking about yourself and your business is one of the last things that needs to be on the agenda.
We recently talked about successful onboarding starting at the beginning of the hiring process when you write the job description. It should come as no surprise that successful onboarding continues with a solid interview process.
We recommend that the first question you ask every candidate is, “Why are you here?” Then, spend the first 15 minutes or so of the interview asking follow-up questions to discover how they found the job opening, why they applied, what their expectations are of you as an employer, what specifically about the position interests them, etc. Also ask the candidate questions such as “Are you wanting to make a career of this, or do you see it as a stepping stone to something else?”
All of these questions together, which really should only take about 15 minutes, give you an idea of the candidate’s end-goal expectations and what motivates them. You’re identifying the why for that candidate. Starting with the why helps you determine if you should go any further with that candidate before you even start talking about job duties, benefits, or salary. Based on the opening conversation, you likely know if your position fits what the candidate is looking for and vice versa. At that point if it makes sense, then it’s time to talk about yourself; otherwise it’s time to move on to other candidates.
Far too often, we see companies hire the wrong candidate because they don’t spend enough time seeking to understand the candidate at the interview table. The company conducts a job analysis and writes a position description that clearly defines what the company needs in the new hire. Then in the interview process, they find a seemingly great candidate whose personality fits with the company but whose qualifications and long-term goals do not. They circle back and try to retrofit the job description to the well-liked candidate who simply isn’t right for the defined job need. Or, in many cases, they may not even explore the candidate’s long-term goals during the interview — the interviewer talks about what they want first rather than spending time to understand the candidate. And when you talk first in an interview, it’s easier for a candidate to fit the mold of what you’re looking for.
Want to ensure you’re hiring the right candidates by using an effective interview process? Contact WhyHR today for more information about creating an interview that identifies the why.