When I think of an interview with a candidate, I think of it like gathering information to determine if the candidate can do the job they have applied for. Seems simple enough right? In theory yes, but in reality things can get complicated. Did you know that there are certain questions that are illegal to ask? Did you know you should ask the same questions to each candidate you interview? Do you follow up with the candidates who were not successful in being hired? And most important of all, how do you tell if what the candidate is telling you is true or are they saying what they think you want to hear?
The last point, especially now more so than ever, is how interviewing can be an art and also a science. Reason being is that candidates can Google interview questions-they can find the top 10 questions most employers ask, they can find out for a certain position what questions are asked, and how to answer them.
So you must be asking what questions should I ask and how do I create them? So this post will use some “technical” terms, but not many. Have you heard of Behavioural Based Interview questions? Some of you might be shaking your head yes, while others are making a weird, confused look at their computer screen right now. No need to worry-MKS HR is here to help you!
Behavioural based interview questions are questions where the candidate has to use their previous work experience to answer the question. For example, “tell me about a specific time when you worked in a team and your ideas were not being heard or being used-tell me the situation and how you persuaded others to use 1 of your ideas?” With this question the candidate has to use an example from past experience which, as I have said before, is a good indicator of future performance. In addition, if your role needs someone who can persuade people this is a good way to see if they are able to do it, especially when others don’t want to use their ideas.
So if Behaviour Based Interview questions are the science of interviewing, then what is the art of it? The art is knowing what the appropriate questions are to ask to see if the person is the right fit from a personality perspective. Aren’t there personality assessments I can use for that? Yes you can use those and they are a great tool in the overall hiring process, but for some smaller businesses they can be expensive (I will get more into the advantages of personality assessments as a tool in a future blog).
So how do you know what the “right” questions are to ask? Well do you know the type of person you are looking for? Are you looking for someone who love details, being organized, is results driven, great at building relationships, loves numbers or analyzing things? I could go on and on as you can tell. At this point (if you have been following past blog posts) you will have a solid job description. If you do, then you have a solid idea of the technical skills for the role, and also the soft skills. By soft skills I mean being an organized person, being results driven, having a love for numbers, etc. It’s those soft skills that you absolutely must have, that create the profile of the candidate you are looking for.
Once you know the profile it’s easy to come up with questions to see if there’s a fit-just remember create the question in a way where the candidate has to use a specific example from their past experience to answer it.
Now what about you? Yes you the interviewer. Have you prepared in any way for the interview? Think you don’t have to? Yes you absolutely do need to prepare! You need to have those questions ready to ask each and every candidate! Have you blocked off enough time in your calendar so you are not interrupted during the interview? Don’t forget to leave enough time for the candidate to ask you questions. Yes they will ask you questions, so be prepared! One question they may ask you is, “what do you see the successful person doing in this role at the 30 day mark, 60 day mark?” Or they may ask you “do you have any concerns with my experience for this role?” Don’t forget that the interview is a 2 way process-you are assessing to see if that person is the right fit for your role and your company. But the candidate is also assessing whether this is a role they want to work in, and your company is a company they see themselves working at.
As always, MKS HR wants you as a business owner to work smarter not harder! So click to access a list of ourGo-To Behavioural Based Interview Questions & Our Secret Formula for creating these questions!