1. IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU
During the interview process, many hiring managers make the mistake of talking too much about themselves or the opportunity on hand, and leave little time for the candidate to talk. The more you let them speak, the more you learn about the interviewee and whether or not you want them on your team.
2. HAVE THE CANDIDATE INTERVIEW WITH OTHER STAFF
Allowing other staff members to interview the candidate will not only help educate the interviewee about the environment at your organization, but it will also provide you with more data points about the candidate. Different interviewing styles will also help bring out different aspects of the candidate that you alone may not have discovered.
3. BE PREPARED
Take a lesson from the Boy Scouts and be prepared for each interview. Even if you only have five minutes to spare, review the résumé, jot down some specific questions for the candidate, and gather up your “stock” list of questions. (Don’t have a stock list of questions? See #4!)
4. PREPARE A STOCK LIST OF QUESTIONS
You will save time and energy by preparing a stock list of questions to ask every candidate you interview. Some suggestions: Why are you interested in this role and in the free-market movement as a whole? In your research about our organization, what were you surprised to learn? If I were to ask your friends and former co-workers for your biggest weaknesses, what would they tell me, and would they be accurate?
5. ASK FOR FEEDBACK FROM THE STAFF
After the interview, ask staff members who interacted with the candidate for their feedback. If I had a dime for every person who told me, “I was going to hire Bob until I found out he was rude to our receptionist,” I would be rich.
6. YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE INTERVIEWING
Remember that it’s not just about whether you like the candidate; it’s also about whether the candidate likes you and the organization. In a competitive job market (remember those days?), most candidates you interview will also be interviewing elsewhere, so you’ll need to bring your A game.
7. MONEY MATTERS
Too many hiring managers use the excuse that they shouldn’t have to pay market rates for people if they are truly committed to the cause. In my grandmother’s words, hogwash. It’s true we are in the movement because we love liberty, but we also want to make a good living and provide for our families. If you find a candidate who is talented, make them a good offer. It will pay off in the long run.
8. DIG INTO THE CANDIDATE’S PAST
The best indicator of how a candidate will perform on the job is his or her past behavior. So ask questions about how the candidate handled difficult situations and listen closely to the answers – you may learn all you need to know in those simple responses.
9. SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
Take note of things that might seem trivial and consider their bigger implications. Did the candidate dress inappropriately? If so, what does that tell you about how they may fit in your office setting? Did the candidate arrive late and fail to take responsibility? If so, how might that translate into performance on the job?
10. TRUST YOUR GUT
It was good dating advice when your mother gave it to you years ago, and it’s still worthwhile now. If the candidate looks good on paper but something tells you it’s just not right, don’t proceed without more investigation. You can always invite the candidate back for another round of interviews or ask for references.
Neil Morrison is a freelance writer.