How To Interview People Effectively

Interviewing is an essential skill for any leader, manager or small business owner. If you are a great interviewer you will hire the best possible candidates for the business, which can significantly benefit the business in a variety of ways (from boosting sales to improving team morale) – but if you are a bad interviewer, you could hire people who negatively affect your organization.

And job vacancies are currently on the rise, so if you own a business you may find that you are hiring again in the near future – and if that is the case, we are here to help.

Whether you are looking for an virtual assistant or to build a team from scratch, here are seven tips to help you interview people effectively.

How To Interview: Write An Ultra-Specific Job Description

If you really want to find the perfect person for the role, you should be as detailed as possible when you are writing the job description. Write down the hard skills you are looking for (such as SEO skills), the soft skills you are looking for (such as communication), and then write a little bit about the goals you expect to see from the person you hire. For instance, what would you like them to achieve in 30 days, 90 days and one year?

Use The Description To Write A List Of Questions

You can now use the job description to help you write a list of questions to ask. For instance, if you are looking for someone with SEO skills, you could ask a handful of questions related to SEO (such as “how long have you worked with SEO? What is your SEO experience? What would you class as you most/least successful SEO project so far?”).

And don’t worry about writing down too many questions; the average job interview lasts around 40 minutes, so we suggest writing down around 20-30 questions to go through.

Find Out The Facts

People tend to exaggerate in job interviews to impress the person interviewing them, but you can find out the truth by asking specific follow up questions. How many more website views did the site get after their SEO work? How big was the team they managed? Get exact dates, numbers and facts to back up their story.

Take Notes

You should take notes in every interview so that you can effectively compare candidates later. You may think your memory is good enough, but the candidates can all blur into one if you are interviewing quite a few – and this could mean that the best person ends up being dismissed. So take notes throughout the interview, and compare them later.

Question Short Term Roles

Ask about any roles that lasted for less than six months. Some roles are temporary, so this could be the case – but it could also be due to personal issues that could go on to affect your own business. For instance, if they left two jobs quickly and blame both on their managers and employees, it could mean that they don’t work well in a team.

Listen (And Let Them Speak!)

Really listen to the candidates when they are talking. If the candidate is nervous you may be tempted to fill in the blanks for them, but this means you won’t learn much about the candidate. So let them speak, even if they pause a lot or seem nervous.

Discuss Salary Expectations

Finally you should discuss salary expectations with each candidate. Ask how much they make at their current role, and then ask how much they expect their next salary to be. If they expect more than you can pay, you may want to choose a different candidate – otherwise they may leave within a few months to seek a better paid role.

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