As an entrepreneur, there are many times when you will have to interview someone for a crucial role in your company. Whether they are a direct report or several steps down the line, your company’s success depends on filling these roles with the best of the best. Sensing whether someone is a star employee is difficult from an interview, however, there are a few tips you can take to see if someone is the right fit.
Tip 1: Don’t judge a book by its cover.
This tip may be cliché, but it’s an unfortunate fact that some great candidates are not hired because of physical appearances. For example, a salesman candidate might show up looking disheveled. Rather than outright turning them away, it might be worth asking if they are comfortable following the required dress code. It may have happened that an emergency came up and got in the way of their preparation for the interview. Or, maybe they just got off of work and didn’t have time to stop at home ahead of time. The point is: don’t judge people simply by how they look. Instead, ask questions that will determine whether they can be professional on a daily basis.
Tip 2: Ask position-specific questions.
Everyone has had an interview that seemed completely pointless. Most of these interviews have something in common — they ask vague, unspecific questions. You’ll frequently hear “Tell me where you want to be in 5 years,” or “What is your biggest weakness?” These questions tell you nothing about the candidate, while also wasting everyone’s time. Instead, ask questions specific to the work they would be completing. You may also want to ask some questions that tell you how they will react under pressure, as well as what their management style preferences are.
Tip 3: Provide a realistic look at the job’s daily duties.
Something many interviewers fail to realize is an interview is a two-way street. Candidates should leave the interview with much more knowledge about the company and position than when they arrived. It’s a great opportunity for you to present a realistic depiction of what they would do each day. Make sure to not only show the great parts of the role, as being honest about the negatives can help you understand if someone is prepared to take them on. After all, it’s better to be rejected by a few candidates than to have someone quit within a month when they finally see the entirety of the role.
Tip 4: Pay attention to signs of culture fit.
The final thing you should do is pay attention to the small details that can alert you of a cultural fit. Tone of voice is a big indicator; for example, someone who is very aggressive in their tone may not fit in at a company that is more laid-back. Additionally, body language can tell you whether a person is more open or reserved. Word choice can also give you an idea of a person’s attitude. Culture fit is one of the hardest things to determine during an interview, but paying attention to the small things will pay off.
Although there will always be people who slip through the cracks and are not a great fit for their role, you can limit this happening by using the tips above to improve your interviews.