Is An Interview The Best Tool for Hiring Great People?

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On January 22, 2017

Is-An-Interview-The-Best-Tool-for-Hiring-Great-PeopleAs business leaders we know how critical it is to have the right people in the right positions in our companies. We sometimes refer to it as “getting the right people on the bus,” and I’ve written about it before.

One of the ways we try to ensure that we end up hiring the right people is by screening them carefully during the interview process. That sounds like a smart thing to do—but that’s only true if you’re using the interview process wisely. You may have been hiring people for quite some time and think that you have the process down pat. But here are a few questions to consider.

• Can you really gauge a candidate’s personality and potential fit for your company in a 45-minute interview? Some people are great in interviews—but terrible on the job. Does your short interview really reveal enough about the person—or is he/she just good at telling you what you want to hear?

• Should you be asking the questions? Sometimes (particularly when you’re interviewing for a more senior position) it’s better to let the candidate interview you. That can tell you more about them than some of the questions you may ask.

• Are you interested in theoretical or practical skills? Pick a problem you face regularly and ask them to come up with a plan to solve it. Their answer doesn’t have to be spot on, but it will tell you how they think and demonstrate problem-solving skills.

• Are you looking for people you can manage? This is a bit tricky, because you do want team players and people who can take direction. At the same time, you should be looking for people who are smarter than you are—at least in their particular area of expertise. Why hire someone who can only do what you can do? Look for someone who can stretch you and your company.

Interviewing candidates is an important process—but only if it’s effective. If your interviewing process isn’t bringing in the brightest and the best people, it could be that you’re not asking the right kinds of questions!