Friday, August 24, 2012

Interview Prep Questions

The following are some suggestions for managers who are preparing to interview and hire for an open position:

• Take a good look at yourself; it is good to know your strengths and weaknesses so you will be able to keep them in check when you are doing the interview. Know what complements the team needs to be more successful.

• Be able to verbally express your management style (hands-on manager, hands-off manager, likes written reports, likes verbal reports, wants to be copied on all emails sent out to staff or managers, overseer, open-door, closed door, etc.). You want to put it up front how you handle yourself and what you expect in return.

• Be able to express the culture of the company (dress a certain way, speak a certain way, work hours set/not set, beliefs, expected to participate in social functions and community fund raisers, competitive atmosphere, friendly, reserved, surface, faith based, etc.).

• Know your company brand. Know what makes your company stand out from all the others in the industry.

• Review the job description. Does it describe what you want for this position? Are the requirements ranked according to importance?

• What are the job expectations for this position you are hiring? Be able to express the timelines that will be attached to those expectations.

• What kind of personality would function best in this position (for instance putting a quiet person with very little imagination into an Educator’s position might not be the best choice).

• Prepare care case scenarios to ask the interviewee. This will gauge knowledge and the decision making ability of the individual.

• Review the job posting before it goes to the press; make sure it states well the type of individual you are looking for in this position. You do not want to be bogged down with applications that do not meet the minimum requirements.

• Select the team that will be part of the interview process. Set up the team’s availability for interviews before the process begins. Decide who will cover each specific area of competency with the interviewee. Ideally, you would want to include a peer as well as other supervisors. A peer is able to asses whether the candidate really knows the position or only knows how to talk it (such as knowing technical submissions or unique computer programs).

We recommend that you start with one person doing the interview and if it goes well, then the next interview could be a group interview. You do not want to drag the process out but you also do not want to rush the process. The point is not to delay so long that you miss getting the ‘ideal candidate’ or to rush too quickly that you miss getting the “ideal candidate”.