Business owners sometimes sit and shake their heads, wondering why they are unable to find the right employees.  They understand how important it is to find the right fit, but seldom understand how important the interview is in finding the right employee.

Few business owners and hiring managers have discovered that the reason for the lack of success in hiring the right employees, stems from their interviewing skills, not the employee.  The interview has often been thought of as a necessary evil in the hiring world, and many interviewers put the burden of a great interview on the potential employee.

You must turn the tables if you want to find and keep the best employees.  This all starts with a great interviewer.  How do you become a great interviewer?  Here are some tips to help you become the best interviewer your company has ever seen:

  • All great interviewers take the time before even posting a job ad, to fully understand the real need for the position. You will not be looking for someone to just fill a spot, you are looking for someone that will solve a need.  You are hiring a result, not a body to fill an open position.  So before even posting the job ad, identify the need and result required.  This will allow you to interview specifically for that need.
  • Never trick your potential candidate. All of your candidates should know before arriving for their interview what to expect.  Who will they be meeting with, expected length of the interview, and so on.  Do not surprise them with a group interview, or a group introduction.  This will make most candidates uncomfortable, and as the interviewer, it is your job to make sure they succeed in their interview.
  • Do your research. Every outstanding interviewer does their homework on the candidates they will interview.  You should know more about your candidate than they know about your company.  Why?  Because then you can ask relevant questions, intelligent questions, that will give you the best look into how this person can help you achieve the result you seek.
  • The number one trait of a great interviewer is that they conduct the interview as a conversation, not an interrogation. The interview should be a conversation between two people, not an inspection of one person.  Interrogations are not comfortable for anyone, and most often will not reveal the information you are looking for.
  • While during the interview there are certain pieces of information you will want answered, it is best to not fall into the “checklist” trap. When you are concerned about answering all of the questions on your checklist, you forget to have a conversation with your candidate.  Remember, you are looking for a result, not an answered checklist.

Excellent interviewers have taken years to hone their craft.  They have learned, through trial and error, how to bring out the best in their candidates, which helps them find the perfect fit and attain their desired result.  You can too.

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