Are You Doing Just One Interview?

hiring the right person

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

You’ve done a bit of pre-screening with Alice, and now you’re ready to sit down and do your key interview with her.

During the interview, you’re going to dig in some on Alice’s résumé.

You’re going to ask her a variety of questions that you hope will give you an idea of how she will perform.

You’ve also administered our three tests: The Personnel Potential Analysis Test, the IQ Test and the Aptitude Test. And she’s tested out pretty well.

So, you’ve got enough information to make a decision, right?

Well, you certainly may.

But I have a few questions I’d like to ask you here:

How certain are you that she’s going to do the job that you expect her to do?

Do you have any doubts about how she’s going to get along with your existing staff?

Will she fit in with your company culture?

Basically I’m asking you if you’re really certain you’ve got the right person.

Because if you have any lingering doubts, NOW is the time to do something about them, not several weeks or months down the road.

So, if you’re not quite there with a solid decision, do a second interview with Alice. And a third if necessary.

Have a trusted staff member do the second interview with Alice and get a different perspective on her. After that interview, share notes with your trusted staff member and see what new information has come up.

Yes, I realize that you can be incredibly thorough in every facet of the hiring process and still hire someone who doesn’t work out.

And I also realize some of us just need to get someone in there as soon as possible, that the unfilled position is causing all kinds of problems. Or the position is currently held by someone who is bringing more harm than benefit to the company.

I do understand that sometimes speed is of the essence.

My basic statement here is this:

If the position is important, then it’s important to take the time to get it right. If that means doing multiple interviews, then so be it.

How many times have you hired the wrong person and spent all kinds of time dealing with that plus going through the process again of finding the right person?

No need to answer that.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


Give Them An Audition!

On air sign

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I discussed this idea in another tip, but I’d like to go into more depth here.

One of the biggest challenges we have in hiring new staff is just not being sure “what we see is what we’re going to get.”

The résumé can tell us a good deal about someone and the interview process can tell us more.

While sometimes the résumé is padded, we do get good data from a résumé.

And the interview does give us a better understanding of the applicant. If you make use of the many hiring tips I’ve provided, your interview will gain you excellent insights into your applicant.

By the way, I’ve taken 65 of my best tips, updated them and published a Hiring Tips Book over at Amazon. I think you’ll appreciate having all of these in one place.

Getting back to this tip, we find out all too often—a month or so down the line—that the person we interviewed is not the same person who is now working for us. Or he quit. Or we needed to let him go.

In other words, the résumé and the interview process did not get the job done for us.

Here’s a very, very strong recommendation:

Have your applicant audition for the job!

Find some task that would demonstrate competence (for the position you’re hiring) and have your applicant perform that task.

How much of a task should this be?

That’s up to you. Maybe something that takes a few hours. Or maybe something that would take a couple of days.

With regards to paying for this task, see our Hiring and the Law Tip: Do I Pay for a “Working Interview”?

The right task is capable of telling you very quickly just how competent the person is.

You could also employ this on a broader basis. If you have ten people applying for the job, you could ask all ten of them to perform a task and send you the results. In this case, the task could be on a smaller scale, but even this approach will give you data that you might never get in an interview.

It can be costly to hire the wrong person. Costly in terms of time and money. Getting an audition from your applicant could save you a ton of both!



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


Count the Number of Times She Said…

Woman counting

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

Here is an interesting approach to the hiring interview.

Ask the applicant a series of questions about how he handled certain tasks at his previous jobs and how he might handle specific tasks with your company.

Questions along the lines of:

In what ways did you help out fellow employees?

How did you sort out conflicts with other employees?

What were the three key things you did to assist the company in achieving its goals?

How would you assist our company to prosper?

Which questions you ask is not that crucial.

The point here is to add up all of the times the applicant said “I” and all of the times he said “we.”

Did the applicant go on and on using the word “I” or did he get a few “we’s” in there? Did he use the “we” word a good number of times?

This approach could give you a quick clue as to how team-oriented your applicant is.

Does he only think in terms what he is capable of doing or does he believe that considerably more can be accomplished with an emphasis on team work.

It’s good to hear what he thinks of himself and his skills. That’s why he’s in front of you being interviewed. But it’s also nice to hear a few “we’s” from time to time.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


“Hire Slow, Fire Fast”

Hire Thorough

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You’ve probably heard the classic hiring mantra: “Hire Slow, Fire Fast.”

Let’s look at the pros and cons of this.

Hiring slow makes total sense when you’re taking the time to vet someone fully for an important position. I would almost say the length of time to invest should be in direct proportion to the importance of the position.

If the position has considerable impact on your bottom line, then the more thorough you should be.

That sounds sensible and almost not even worth stating, right?

But some people get a “gut feeling” about someone and regardless of how important the position is, they pull the trigger fairly quickly.

If I had a buck for every business owner that told me how much he regretted hiring someone because he “went with his gut” I’d own a couple of islands in the South Pacific. Well, at least one island.

I don’t have a problem with people getting a very quick sense of how well someone is going to perform. That’s exciting, actually. People have a very high capacity to know things.

But, and especially for important positions, it doesn’t hurt to find out as much as you can about somebody before you hire them. You can complement your ability to know people with good, quality data.

And that requires considerable interviewing, verifying résumés, background checks, testing, and throw in some more interviewing.

What about the not-so important positions? Can you hire fast for those?

Within reason. Again, do you want to bring someone on board who is going to be rough on your other staff or worse, rough on customers?

So, instead of “hire slow,” let’s go with:

“Hire thorough.”

In terms of “fire fast,” well, one thing I’d recommend is to read over what we have on termination and the law.

I’m a big believer in not letting someone overtly or covertly disrupt your scene. The covert character may not be so obvious—well that is what “covert” is, right—but this person is often doing more damage than the one who’s loud and obvious.

Sometimes this person is quite key to your business. Maybe your top salesperson. But I’ve learned something very interesting on this. Often the overall scene improves when you remove this person. Others are willing to pick up the slack, relieved to have a decent workplace again.

Getting rid of someone disrupting your workplace isn’t something you want to keep putting off. Especially if they’re using their talents as leverage against you making a move.

All in all, you want people who want to be there and want to be part of your team.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


Hiring Tips From the Folks at Google #2

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

This is second in a series of three tips, in which we discuss hiring advice given by former Google execs.

Here’s the first set:

Do hire people who are enthusiastic, self-motivated, and passionate.

Don’t hire people who just want a job.”

Good advice, but it begs the question: can every position at your company be filled with an enthusiastic, self-motivated and passionate individual? How self-motivated does the fellow stocking the shelves need to be? Does he need to be passionate about those items he’s taking from a box and placing on a shelf?

I’m not trying to be sarcastic here. It’s a decent question. Especially when many business owners tell me that a large number of applicants are NOT very motivated at all, with many of them just needing a job.

My advice is to hold out for the best qualities for every position at your company. That’s not always practical, but you certainly won’t get what you want if you don’t, well, want it enough.

Let’s move on to the next hiring advice from the folks at Google:

Do hire people who inspire and work well with others.

Don’t hire people who prefer to work alone.”

You definitely want to hire people who work well with others. You could have a very skilled individual who continually rubs the other staff the wrong way. Eventually you find yourself in a “juggling act” of whether his adverse effects on the workplace outweigh his positive contributions.

Someone prefers to work alone? Well, that’s not the most social characteristic, but maybe she’s a phenomenal producer and, if allowed to work on her own, will give you what you need and maybe then some.

But, generally speaking, I’d be concerned about someone who doesn’t want to work with others.

And finally:

Do hire people who will grow with your team and with the company.

Don’t hire people with narrow skill sets or interests.”

This last tip deals with a problem I see coming up more and more these days. New hires that only want the job for a short spell. Maybe 6 months. Maybe 2-3 years. But no long term ambitions and no compelling interest to “grow” with the company.

Again, do your best to hold out for someone who does have a long term view of his employment with you.

All in all, hiring can be a tough proposition. You want the very best, but you’re not sure the very best are going to show up. You’re not sure you can even afford to bring on the very best if they do apply.

So, there’s going to be compromise. As the weeks and months move along, I would recommend steering that compromise more and more towards getting the best.

Keep your eye on the mountain!



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


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