According to John Featherstone, author of Start Hiring Winners, a lot of hiring managers commit the same fatal mistake during interviews - they just don't know when to stop talking. If you're relying on your "gut feelings" about a candidate and allowing them to sit back and listen to your rambling line of questioning, you're simply not learning anything about the candidate's skills and potential value to your company.
“Seldom does one learn anything while talking,” Featherstone says. “The purpose of the interview is to gather job-related facts. This requires that the candidate talk about 80 percent of the time.”
Featherstone believes the key to finding the best people to hire lies in intensive questioning that covers various areas of assessment. Here are a few of his top questions and areas to consider:
1. The practice of management
a. Define “management” for me.
b. How would your previous superiors describe your management skills?
c. What is your style of management, and can you share an example of how well it has worked for you?
a. Tell me about a policy you put in place that generated employee resistance.
b. Describe and give examples of your self-confidence.
c. How do you convince people to want to do what needs to be done?
a. How do you assess risk?
b. Describe the circumstances where you had to make a decision before you had sufficient facts.
a. How did you bring about your greatest achievement?
b. How are your previous employers better off as a result of your employment?
a. Is delegation worth the risk? Explain with examples.
b. How do you manage a task delegated to a subordinate?
a. What was the worst decision you made in the last year, and what was the outcome?
7. Ability/desire to learn
a. What periodicals do you currently read?
b. What did you learn from your previous superior?
8. Planning ability
a. Tell me about the best plan you prepared, how you implemented it and the results.
b. How do you decide what elements of a plan to delegate?
9. Ability to organize
a. Help me to understand how job descriptions help employees work better.
b. What data do you collect to measure progress in your area, and how do you use it?
John Featherstone's Bio:
John Featherstone, author of “Start Hiring Winners,” is a consultant to small business and a former five-year volunteer with SCORE, mentoring and training small-business owners and employees. His business consultations include an eight-year project with a distillery in El Salvador. As a division vice president/general manager for a privately held confectionery company, Featherstone managed a spectacular annual growth rate of 50 percent for seven consecutive years. Featherstone also has owned, operated and sold three small businesses. Over 25 years, he has field-tested and perfected his “Start Hiring Winners” system. Featherstone lives in San Pedro, Calif., near Los Angeles. The book “Start Hiring Winners” is available online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.