5 Interview Questions You Need to Ask When Hiring Your Next Employee
One of the most critical elements of your business is the cultural fit. Fantastic employees can have a big impact on the success of your business, especially if they are passionate about your business, and truly buy into your vision and mission.
Employees who do not fit your culture, have the potential to become toxic. They can be poisonous to your staff and create a negative environment. Once you have a negative environment within your business, you will become re-active instead of pro-active and your focus will shift away from business growth to fighting fires.
How do you identify a good cultural fit for your business? It all starts at the interview stage. The interview process and the structure of your questions will help find a good fit for your culture.
I have managed people for over 20 years, and in that time, I’ve made many hiring mistakes and early on I struggled to hire the right people. I put that down to youth and inexperience. Making a mistake is the quickest way to learn, and I learned the hard way.
The key takeaways I’ve learned is that it’s not about the person’s skill and experience. It is about finding an individual who fits your culture and environment. You can teach skills, but you cannot teach attitude. You want A or B players on your team. These people have positive attitudes, and they make it personal. They want to help and contribute to building your business.
To determine a good fit for your business. I recommend you use the following questions during your interview process:
1. What are the main characteristics of your ideal culture?
You can identify if the candidate’s answers align with your culture. If you are not clear on your cultures characteristics then aligning a fit will be difficult. Ensure you have defined your business characteristics, otherwise this process is useless.
2. Tell me about what you like and what you do not like about your current role and the business you work for?
The question will most likely catch the candidate off guard. The individual has to think about their answers. With this question you can assess if the candidate’s attitude aligns with that of an A or B Player. I have had many interview situations where the candidate proceeded to criticise their employer. C players criticise their employer. Conversely, A & B players take responsibility for their circumstance. They do not place blame elsewhere.
3. What are your expectations of us, and why do you want to work here?
A goodie but an oldie. This question identifies what your candidate is expecting from you. A good example here is. You are a Small-Business owner, and resources are limited. Does the candidate prefer a corporate or large business environment, where there are many resources? Small Business is a little different. Employees and owners wear many hats at once and are always multitasking. You can also identify if the candidate researched your company before the interview. The answers help you identify if their values align with yours. Aligned values are essential in finding the best employee.
4. What is your preferred relationship with your co-workers? Do you prefer to develop friendships at work?
Your culture is influenced by the social interactions of employees. I once experienced a difficult employee, who was not performing. This person became toxic and needed allies within the workplace. It was how he operated. When the business performance managed him, he complained to nearly every employee. His approach affected the team’s moral and the moral of individual staff. He needed friendships in the workplace, so he felt like he had allies. He needed to operate in informal environments. Some business environments are more formal and are less friendly as a result. If the candidate is familiar with a relaxed, friendly environment. Then a formal environment will not be a good fit.
5. We all succeed sometimes, and we all fail now and then. Tell me about a time when you failed?
We are not attempting to embarrass the candidate with this question. It is about identifying what their perception of failure is. In their mind is failure an opportunity for growth and development? Or, do they perceived it to be negative?
I have failed and made mistakes a lot. However, the invaluable lessons that have come from these circumstances are priceless. It is all about your attitude, and attitude is everything. You will be able to gauge if the candidate can acknowledge their failing. How they perceive their non-success is essential.
Attitude is everything. In both in business and life. If you hire the wrong cultural fit, it will cost you. Cost you money that is better spent elsewhere.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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