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Interviewing A Potential Employee

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19 replies to this topic

#16 meta


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Posted 08 August 2003 - 08:46 AM

I believe he said: "have no one right answer."


Oh! Thank you.

#17 Beth_C


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Posted 11 August 2003 - 09:01 PM


When interviewing, you might want to find out more about what the candidate is looking for FIRST before telling them about you and what you are looking for. That way you don't tip off the applicant to what you are hoping that they say.

In other words, if you tell them that you are looking for someone who can wear a variety of hats and do everything from sweep the floors to write "C" programming code--then you give them the opportunity to say, "I'm very flexible about doing all kinds of tasks."

If you didn't tip them off, they might instead have said, "I work best when I have one specific job focus."

So the key is not to feed the applicant the answers up front.

I generally start the interview by saying something like,

"I'd like to go over three things with you. First we'll talk about your background and experience, then we can talk about what kind of position you are looking for. Last I will tell you a little bit about Company X and what it is that we are looking for. "

This really sets the applicants at ease. (You can almost see or here a visual sigh of relief. Kind of like when the dentist warns you up front exactly what he's going to do.) It also puts you in control of the interview so that you can get honest answers to your questions.

Beth C.

#18 Scottie


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Posted 11 August 2003 - 09:27 PM

Welcome to the forum, Beth C! :drunk:

I've found that hiring for a small home-based business is very different- there are many people who will tell me all about themselves and their qualifications only to find that they aren't interested in the job once they hear more about it.

I hate wasting time... I pre-qualify them via phone or e-mail but they don't always understand the situation. I'm not worried about tipping them off or feeding them the right answers; I'm more interested in being clear upfront and finding a good fit. I want them to know exactly what they might be getting in to before I waste my time finding out more about them.

It's not quite like hiring for a big business where there are 25 applicants trying to do whatever they can to get the job... it's a much more informal process, usually with 2-3 candidates and no formal deadline. If the right person doesn't show up, we just keep looking.

I can usually tell by the look on their face and their responses whether I've scared them or truly interested them in the position- that guides the rest of the interview. The few I have hired got very excited about the possibilities. So far, it has worked wonderfully. :lol:

#19 Beth_C


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Posted 12 August 2003 - 07:12 PM

Hi Scottie, Thanks for the welcome.

I'm glad that you have found an interviewing method that is effective for you.

I've hired for large companies and for small companies and I'd say the process is more similiar than disimiliar.

If you are interested in saving time, you'll save more time reversing your method. Here's why:

You can spend the first 5-10 minutes telling the applicant about your company and seeing if they are interested or you can spend the first 5-10 minutes finding out about their background. Correct?

With the first approach, 8 or 9 times out of 10, the applicant is going to say, "yah, that sounds like what I'm interested in...." and then you must continue on with the interview.

With the second approach, it's more like 2-3 times out of 10 that the candidate will sound like someone worth pursuing further.

So with method 1, 80-90% of the time you will have to continue your interview beyond the first 10 minutes. With method 2, 20-30% of the time you will continue your interview beyond the first 10 minutes. Thus you will save time...ummm....more than 50% of the time with method 2.

Beth C.

#20 cline


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Posted 12 August 2003 - 07:35 PM

It's very interesting how people project things into questions. A major reason to ask a question that is vague is to see what the candidate projects into it. ;)

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