Hiring is a skill that doesn’t come easy. But like any skill, it can be learned and improved if we are aware. Most of us don’t want to admit what we’re not good at it. Because acknowledging that we’ve made some bad hires forces us to wake up and realize (i) we screwed up and, (ii) we definitely need to fire someone. Maybe ourselves, lol.
Most companies hold onto employees that aren’t the right fit for far too long. And that’s costing your business big time! Not just financially either. Having the wrong employees on your staff hurts your productivity, erodes engagement and trust and your company culture, and ultimately inhibits results.
There is good news! You can avoid all that if you learn how to hire the RIGHT PEOPLE in the first place. And we do that by asking GREAT QUESTIONS during the interview.
What Type of Person Are They?
I’ve had the privilege of working with companies like Qualcomm, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Inuit and let me tell you, it doesn’t matter how good the candidate looks on paper or what credentials they have. If they’re not the right type of person for your company or team, they’re not the right fit period.
During the interview process, you need to figure out what type of person they are, what their strengths are, and what their whys are. We have a great PDF below with all the questions you should be asking to help you figure these things out, but two of my favorite questions are:
-What’s the biggest misconception others have about you and why?
-What three words would you use to describe yourself and why?
Both of these questions will help you confirm or deny your initial assumptions about what sort of person they are and also help you understand their level of self-awareness. It also lets you get into the “real” authentic person not the rehearsed interviewee. To see how powerful these questions can be, try them out with yourself and with the people that you know well – you will be surprised at the results!
Are They Positive and Optimistic?
As quickly as our lives move these days and as quickly as the world of work is changing, there is NO room for negativity. You need to be hiring positive, optimistic people who have a can-do attitude. People who are positive and optimistic are more likely to seek solutions to challenges, rather than allowing themselves to become stumped or stuck. And that’s exactly who you need in your company – people who are going to just figure it out on their own and find the help they need to get it done.
To evaluate a candidate’s pre-disposition towards turning lemons into lemonade, a few of the questions I love to ask are:
-What do you think about failure?
-When you’d have obstacles in your life, what have you done to overcome them?
-What characteristics or behaviors do you believe have contributed to failure around the positions you’ve held in the past and why?
After you ask these questions, listen closely. Sometimes you have to read between the lines of the candidate’s responses so make sure you listen for clues that indicate whether they respond more positively or negatively to being challenged. And, also ask targeted follow up questions.
To conclude, when you’re hiring you’re primarily looking to answer just two questions about every candidate: what type of person are they and are they positive/optimistic. It’s not rocket science and yet we get so caught up in fact-checking their resume and making sure they have all the technical skills, we forget to ask the questions that will help us figure out who the person sitting across from us actually is!
So, before you make your next hire, make sure you download our free PDF with the kinds of questions you should be asking every candidate. Just fill out the form below to get it. And if you still need help, please reach out to us for coaching!