You are looking to grow and exciting times lie ahead but while you might have a pile of fantastic CVs on your desk, getting it right when it comes to employing the best person for the job, can be a daunting task. The interview stage might be tough for the candidate but as a business owner, and employer, there is huge responsibility on you to make the right decision, first time. We have put together a five-point plan that we hope will help you be a boss when it comes to interviewing.
Face for Business’ five point plan for interview preparation
From the start is really important to have a clear idea of exactly what the job is, the hours involved, the salary on offer and a preferred starting date. If you aren’t 100% certain about what the job entails, it will be difficult to put the right person in place. Write a role description and person specification from the word go and send to candidates before their interview and have it to hand when you meet them.
If you want your interviews to go well, you need to hold them in the right place. A busy shop floor, at the till or next to the kitchen probably isn’t the best place to test the waters when it comes to a new member of staff. Find a quiet, private room with a table and chairs and book it out for the time you need it. Make sure it is clean and tidy, there is water and glasses and that you have the correct equipment and furniture in place. If you don’t have a suitable place, you can rent a conference room and really look professional. Most places that rent rooms by the hour will also provide you with drinks, too.
The Interview Team
In many situations, it is better to have more than one person sitting in on the interview. Even at the first stage, two heads are better than one as you will see different qualities in candidates, as well as flag issues. It also helps make conversations to flow more naturally and you can bounce ideas off each other and perhaps have a debrief after each interview. It also helps to put everyone at ease, after all it can be daunting for the interviewer too!
When you are interviewing, you need to be 100% committed to finding the next member of your team. Turn your email out of office on, let know your team know you are unavailable, turn off your phone and either use voicemail or a call answering service. By letting someone else speak to your clients and suppliers while you interview people allows you to focus on the job in hand and not worry that you will be missing important calls or new business opportunities.
I have found Face for Business’ call handling service to be invaluable. As I am often out with clients for hours at a time, I rely on Face for Business to take any calls for me. Having a call answering service means that I don’t have to worry about missing any calls, that could be new clients. – Graphic Designer, Exeter
Every interview will be different, but ideally all interviews for one job should be based on the same set of questions. Yes, candidates will have their own answers and ideas but it is only fair to ask each person the same questions as a starting point.
Questions that can help form the basis of most interviews include:
• Tell us a little more about you and your experience to date?
• What interested you in the role and the company?
• How would you really make this job yours?
• What is your greatest strength?
• What is your greatest weakness?
• There are times when we get very busy, how do you handle stressful situations at work?
• Tell us about a piece of work you are really proud of?
• How would your current manager describe you?
• Why should we hire you?
Give each candidate time to think about the questions as their answers can be the starting point for a conversation that reveals more about their personality, ideas and work ethic. Invite candidates to ask you questions so that it is a two-way conversation, and everyone has the chance to get to know each other better.
Do make notes but also make sure you are really listening and engaging with the candidate. Sometimes it can be useful to make a note of the key words or phrases that you’re looking for and perhaps mark points next to each phrase when a candidate mentions them.
In some cases, one interview is enough, in others a second round is needed and even a practical exercise has to be added in. Explain this to the candidates before they leave and follow up by email or phone so they know what is happening. Once you do make a decision and there is an offer on the table, make sure you take references, have a contract in place and put a trial period in place. All of these protect both parties and are really important to successful hiring of long-term team members.
We wish you luck in your quest for staff and if you are interested in finding out about Face for Business phone answering services, get in touch today and we can talk more!