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Avoid hiring mistakes…

Hiring a new employee is an important part for business growth.  A mistake can have devastating effects on a small business. Unfortunately, there are very few, if any, classes that teach proper hiring techniques.

Many small business owners have not had a lot of experience with the interview and hiring process. In my opinion, the applicant is more familiar with the interview process and is likely to tell the owner what he wants to hear.

In a recent article on the subject of hiring, the University of Chicago research showed that 80% of the people chosen to fill a position are hired on the basis of their appearance. While I believe that appearance is important, that should not be the main criteria in the selection process.

Kerry Johnson developed a series of questions, 11 of them, with a point system as a suggested outline for the interview process. this series of questions does not address the “job” knowledge, or technical skills, needed for the job, but addresses basic issues that, if answered correctly, would merit further consideration for the applicant.  The points are in brackets following the questions.

  1. 1.       Why did you leave your last job? (5)
  2. 2.       How did you decide to select your last job? (5)
  3. 3.       Let’s assume you have been working here a year. What transpired that let you know it is a great place to work? (10)
  4. 4.       What was your biggest success? (10)
  5. 5.       What was your biggest failure? (10)
  6. 6.       What is your  biggest behavioral weakness? (10)
  7. 7.       Have you ever made any “cold calls”? (20)
  8. 8.       What are your goals? (5)
  9. 9.       What is the longest job you ever held? (5)
  10. 10.   Why do you want this job?(5)
  11. 11.   Sell me this pen/pencil. (35)

You can set the standards as to how many points you allow for each question. Obviously the higher the score the better the applicant. These questions will also give you great insight into the character of the applicant.

Prepare yourself for an interview. Select the location for the interview and don’t let anyone or anything interrupt the session. Write down the questions you plan to ask and take good notes. Interview enough applicants to have a good selection.

Interviewing requires more listening than speaking.

Nick J. Petra CFP

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