In business we’re so focused on operations - building, branding, marketing and delivering. One things leads to another, and the business grows – great! More business means you recruit more staff. And there’s the rub.
Because replicating success doesn’t necessarily mean replicating your people. Getting the right recruits in place creates the culture of your workplace. So it’s clever business to be strategic, know exactly what you’re looking for, and how to interview to get it.
Believe it or not, the last thing you should do is recruit someone who thinks just like you. Find someone who brings different thinking to the table but who is also a great team player, and genuinely gets on with everyone. That’s more likely to result in the robust collective skill set you need to carry on with that healthy growth and development.
Here are some tips to help you single out the best candidates.
ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
Jotting down a few random questions and hoping for a wonderful outcome is unlikely to cut the mustard. There’s nothing wrong with prescribed questions. Write them down and use them! But be flexible – go off piste and improvise occasionally, it’ll make you seem more human, and it keeps you thinking too!
Moments of silence can be a good thing. They can prompt ‘gold nugget’ moments – when the candidate fills the space by talking unscripted. This provides you with the chance to discover behaviours and experiences that may not have revealed if you had kept talking.
Ask questions that draw out the behavioural type of the person sitting before you. Past behaviour is usually an indication of what future behaviour will be like. When you ask about specific tasks or real life experiences, you’ve got a better chance of the understanding how the candidate might react to workplace situations under your roof.
Here’s what we mean.
- Describe a time where you have gone out of your way to help a customer. What did you do and what was the result?
- Can you tell me about a time when you’ve been around people that you really didn’t like or you just didn’t want to deal with? Describe your worst example of this and how you made best of the situation.
- Tell me about a time where a customer did not accept the information you gave them and you had to explain it in different terms.
- Describe a time where you took over a difficult client. What did you do to ensure the relationship ran smoothly? What made a difference in these circumstances?
GET SOME SLEEP
It might sound like an odd suggestion but when you’re interviewing a potential new starter, make sure you’re at your best. Arm yourself with a clear mind so you’re fully on the ball and don’t make a costly mistake.
President Bill Clinton, who was renowned for sleeping only five or six hours a night throughout his presidency, observes ‘Every important mistake I have made in my life, I’ve made because I was tired.’
If only he’d been thinking more clearly that day in the oval office with the cigar.
Don’t make an error of judgement that will come back to bite you.
WATCH THE BODY TALK
Being mindfully present during an interview means you can chat naturally - and look for non-verbal clues - the subtle nuances of behaviour that start in our subconscious and emerge to give away so much about us.
Nikoletta Bika, researcher and writer at Workable, gives some specific pointers to use when reading body language during an interview.
- OBSERVE EXTREME BEHAVIOUR: Colourful quirks can make the workplace better, but be cautious about other extreme behaviours - constantly checking a phone or avoiding eye contact.
- SPOT THE DIFFERENCE: Look for any changes in movement or posture - is the tapping foot responding to an uncomfortable question?
- CONNECT THE DOTS: One isolated gesture might be a one-off, but if you see repeated behaviours that all say the same thing, listen to your instincts about them.
- ASK AWAY: If you pick up on non-verbal clues that suggest an interesting or off-the-wall response, or perhaps withheld information, don't hesitate to ask follow up questions.
Good recruiting is simple and straightforward but also smart. You don’t have to impress with fireworks, just be well prepared and professional. Know in advance what attributes you’re looking for – find a great fit for your team, and bring something new and wonderful to the table!