The entrepreneurs I know have a dazzling list of skills. They’re good at math, and have incredible vision, boundless energy and positivity.
But conducting job interviews? Not so good. Most of them suck at it.
Maybe it’s because as self-made businesspeople, they’ve been through few interviews themselves. Or, without proper HR training, perhaps they’re afraid they’ll break one of the privacy laws that loom over the process.
Whatever the reason, it has been my experience that most young entrepreneurs would have more luck picking an A-level candidate out of a police line up then they would from an interview.
But I’m here to tell you to skip the HR night classes and to hold off contracting that expensive recruiting firm. You can find out just about anything you need to know about potential employees during a semi-formal group interview.
The group interview cuts back on the amount of time you have to spend in interviews. But more importantly, it gives you instant insight into the leadership skills and cultural fit of the candidates.
Ask the group any question (I’ve even used “What’s your favorite movie?”) and see who steps up to answer first (usually a good indicator of leadership). Watch who interrupts or monopolizes time (a neon red flag).
And since you need at least 200 resumes for each A-player position you’re trying to fill, the group interview helps you weed out a lot of duds quickly. Remember, you aren’t pinpointing the most suitable candidate in this part of the process, just screening for cultural fit.
Just hiring based on how well a candidate fits into your company’s culture is a surefire way to give yourself migraines. But in today’s speed-of-light-paced business world, the old adage “hire for attitude, train for skills” no longer applies.
Once you cull your list in the group interview, you’ll need to get down to some serious, gritty, old-fashioned one-on-one interviewing to really determine who can best fill your role.
Forget all the fluffy, HR-centric scenario questions. These almost always result in the interviewee saying what they think needs to be said.
Instead, focus on specific questions that relate to your company and the candidate’s potential role within it.
And remember, there’s a certain amount of embellishment that goes on in any interview. Be sure to ask for proven past experience, and don’t be afraid to keep pressing if your gut tells you something is amiss.
An interview is a two-way street. You are screening potential employees as much as they are screening you, looking at whether your company looks like a good place to work.
Keep it professional, organized and on point and you’ll undoubtedly find the perfect fit.