Can You “Hear” Them Smile?

Phone Interview

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

Before you sit down and interview an applicant in person, you (or one of your staff) speak to them over the phone, right?

What are you trying to determine at this point?

Besides a short interview which could end in an invitation to come and interview, there are some things you can discover by phone.

First and foremost, you are hoping they sound professional, right?

If music is blaring in the background, does he turn it down so the two of you can have a decent conversation?

And you’d like for them to be a bit prepared for your call. If they don’t recall what company you’re from even though you announced it at the beginning of the call, not a great sign.

How is your prospect’s manners? Does she let you complete your communication fully, or does she interrupt?

Is it a nice, smooth conversation from start to finish?

And last but not least, can you “hear” them smile?

I’m not making a mystical point here, folks. You know what I mean. Is the person bringing a bit of life to the conversation? And do YOU have a smile on your face at the end?

Pay attention to some of the above details in a phone conversation and your phone interviews will lead you to better prospects for the in-person interview.



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.


How Do They Treat Other People?

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

How will your prospective employee treat your customers and other staff?

Will they be friendly, helpful and appreciative?

Or will they be tactless, dispassionate and cynical?

And how can you tell ahead of time?

Well, one can test for personality traits. Our 200 question test will get you past the usual social responses and give you unexpected insights into your prospect’s personality.

So of course I recommend using our test.

But what else can you do?

You could take your applicant around the office or store and introduce him to a few of the staff. Let your staff know ahead of time that you might be doing this and ask them to take a minute or two and “engage” — ask a few questions, maybe even be a bit disarming.

One example might be an employee looking startled that the person is interested in a job there and asking, “Are you sure you want to work here? The boss is a decent chap, but the pay and perks aren’t so great.” Maybe this gets said within earshot of the boss, or maybe not.

A disarming question or two may reveal something about your applicant that you might not otherwise see.

While you’re walking around, observe how your applicant deals with each person they come into contact with, not just your staff. If you use the elevator, does he hold the door open for others; does he acknowledge the existence of the doorman; the receptionist?

Maybe you go out for a coffee — how does he treat the barista?

Whatever interaction you can observe, take it all in and evaluate.

And remember our motto:

The more you know about someone BEFORE you hire them, the better your hiring decision will be.



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.


How Long Do You Plan On Sticking Around?

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

That’s an interesting question to ask an applicant and a simple wording would be:

“Sarah, if we hired you, how long do you plan on sticking around?”

Sarah’s answer should deliver an insight into her potential longevity with you.

If her answer doesn’t give you a good sense of commitment, that’s worth knowing ahead of time.

But that also begs the question, being asked more and more these days:

How long should a new employee commit to the company?

One could answer that question philosophically, or one could simply find out directly from the applicant.

And the interesting flip side to the question “how long do you plan on sticking around” is:

“Sarah, under what circumstances would you leave?”

Again, a fairly direct question.

If Sarah’s answer touches on things that were done “to her” at her previous jobs, that’s not the height of responsibility.

But she may also mention not feeling “sufficiently challenged” or she may be candid and project another job offer that she couldn’t turn down.

When you ask these two questions:

How long do you plan on sticking around?

and

Under what circumstances would you leave?

You could cut through some of the potentially canned (or prepared) responses and gain some good insights into your applicant.



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.


Getting Off to a Good Start

new hires

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I was at Monster’s web site and saw a few questions you could ask applicants on the subject of “getting started.”

What do you see yourself accomplishing in the first 30 days here?

How would you go about quickly establishing your credibility with our team?

If hired, describe your strategy for the first 90 days.

How long would it take for you to make a significant contribution here?

For your “serious” positions, I like these questions. They are asking your applicant to stretch a bit and look into their possible future with your company.

Some applicants have quite a bit visualized as a potential member of your team and they will likely give you solid answers to all of the above.

What if you’re hiring a stock clerk or a waitress, would you still want to ask these questions?

My answer is a simple: “Absolutely!”

Asking every applicant how they believe they can bring value to your company only grants dignity to them, to the available position and to your company.

So there you go. Find out what your bright-eyed prospects would do to get out of the starting gate and you’ll likely gain some welcome insights.



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.


Let’s See What You Can Do!

Hiring Show and Tell
Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

This tip is similar to an earlier one, but I wanted to give it a different spin here.

Let’s give your applicant a very specific assignment and have him carry it out as part of the hiring interview.

A few examples:

Have a customer service candidate review how customers are handled from pre-sale all the way through to fulfillment and follow-up and have the candidate write up how this could be improved.

If someone is applying for the collections position, do a bit of role playing. Have the candidate go down the list and attempt to collect the amounts from you.

Sales is another great position for role playing. Describe a few different selling scenarios and have the candidate take you from start to finish of the sales process.

For some of these, you could even include a time element, say 30 or 60 minutes.

A smiling candidate with a well-rounded résumé is a good start. A candidate who performs right in front of you will take you considerably closer to hiring the right person.



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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