No decision is more crucial to the success of your business than the people you hire, so consider carefully the dilemma you face in your hiring interviews.
You talk with someone you’ve probably just met for an hour or two – maybe less. Your objective is to get the information you need for a decision that can have a major impact on the profitability of your business, your career and daily work life, the life of the applicant as well as your legal costs.
The unique demands of the behavioral hiring interview are that a lot of money’s riding on a relatively brief period of time. It’s essential that you get the maximum relevant information during your interviews in the shortest amount of time.
No decision is more crucial to the success of your business than the people you hire because hiring the wrong candidate is very expensive – in both money and morale: The costs of expensive mistakes and repairing the damage before the problem’s discovered. The costs of expensive employee turnover, finding new people, and bringing them up to speed. The costs of inefficiencies when people aren’t working effectively together as a team.
More than any other single area of your business, hiring decisions mean the difference between controlling expenses or making costly mistakes.
You’ve probably had the experience of someone working for you who’s not quite bad enough to terminate, but their performance is far short of what your business needs to succeed. And they stay – sometimes for years – because the cost of finding and training a replacement’s time consuming and expensive.
Or someone who infects your organization with a toxic attitude that drains the morale of coworkers – an attitude that makes for bad teamwork costing energy and time to deal with. These are problems you can help stop before they start with the right type of interview techniques.
People who create effective teams are first and foremost good behavioral interviewers, because the key to building your own career is to build your staff with the best people.
Behavioral Interviews Aren’t Typical Work Settings
One of the big challenges you face is that hiring interviews aren’t your usual work settings. Without planning and skill on the part of the interviewer, applicants tend to show how they do in an interview – not necessarily how they’ll do on the job. Candidates also bring their own objective to the interview. Giving you the answers they think you want to hear.
Today’s market is very sophisticated regarding savvy interview skills. There are hundreds of CD’s and books on the market that teach job seekers how to out-interview the interviewer. The best people you’ll interview will have studied these books and practiced what they’re going to say.
Be a Savvy Interviewer
Job seekers have become very savvy about interview skills – and you need to be as well! Studies show that between a quarter and a third of all job applicants misrepresent their work history.
You need good questions – questions that are penetrating and get beyond the applicant’s rehearsed answers – together with an effective interview strategy to sift fact from statement and judge the true level of their motivation.
In the unique circumstances of the hiring interview where a lot of money’s riding on such a short period of time you have to evaluate the applicant, you need to bring as much objectivity to the process as possible and conduct the interview in a manner that keeps you out of trouble with the law.
You Must Interview Legally
Many commonly asked hiring questions are illegal. It’s essential that to know what you can ask and how to document the answers to avoid lawsuits.
Over seventy percent of discrimination complaints result from the interview process. Attorney’s fees to defend yourself if a discrimination case goes to court start at $30,000 – even if you prevail!
In the new legal climate that exists around hiring, job interviews are no longer something you can ‘Do by the seat of your pants’ without leaving yourself open to possible lawsuits . An inadvertently asked question that may have a friendly intent, such as “What’s your husband’s occupation?” can cost you thousands of dollars.
The Three Goals of the Behavioral Interview
An experienced hiring interviewer knows an applicant’s ability to do the job is only one of the goals of the interview. The second area you need to determine is their motivation – how dedicated they’ll be.
There’s a world of difference between being able to do the job, and being motivated and dedicated to doing an outstanding job. What does their motivation say about how long they’ll stay with your company?
Most People Don’t Under perform or Leave Jobs Because They Lack Ability
They lose motivation when the work environment or management style isn’t a good fit. For a successful hire you also need to determine manageability – how they’ll accept your direction, criticism and feedback. So much of the day to day tension of the job revolves around these critically important areas. A person can be able and willing, but if they’re unmanageable you’re going to have problems.
Meeting these three goals of the hiring interview – determining ability, motivation and manageability – requires preparation to get a systematic, balanced coverage of each applicant.
Ability, which includes skills and knowledge can generally be arrived at in the most straight forward manner. Motivation and manageability are more difficult to determine because everyone will tell you in a job interview they’ll work hard and follow directions.
You need well crafted behavioral interview questions and know how to ask them to get past the applicant’s facade for the information you really want.
This is the first of a series of articles giving you proven behavioral job interview questions and hiring techniques that yield the maximum information in the minimum amount of time.