You’ve already read her resume and jotted down a few inquiries about her qualifications. After a long search, you’re hopeful. With this hire, you get the chance to make a key decision with long-lasting ramifications for the company.
What if, instead of choosing a dream employee, you pick someone who doesn’t know how to play nicely with others? Or, one who turns out to be just enh on the job?
In a recent poll of CFOs, 95% of them said that one bad hire messed with the morale of the whole team. And that’s not even addressing how much it can cost your business to train and then get rid of that dud.
Obviously, it pays to learn how to become a more effective—and perceptive—interviewer. Liz Ryan, founder of the online community Human Workplace, and a former Fortune 500 HR exec, has ideas:
Talk less. It’s tempting to chatter on, in an effort to connect with the person across the desk, or to smooth over a silence while they decide how to answer a question.
If you fight that urge, however, you’re likely to glean valuable info. The more you allow the interviewee to talk, the more you’ll see how her thought process works, and whether she has that passion you’re looking for.
Ditch the “classic” interview questions. Job seekers have read them all, and they’ve come up with canned, bland, one-cliche-fits-all-companies answers. (Q: “What is your greatest weakness?” A: “I have trouble delegating.”). Doesn’t tell you much.
Pose questions that begin with “why.” This tactic will get you more revealing and helpful answers. (“Why were you attracted to your previous company?” Heck, even, “Gee, I see you went to so-and-so college. What made you choose that one?” may tell you something interesting about them.)