Monday, March 09, 2009

Hiring Part Two

I am now ready for the interview. Sometimes they surprise me and wipe out my first impressions but usually I have only two questions for them...

When I was interviewed and trained to DO interviews I was given a book of questions to ask or choose from. I started with the book and the interview took over and hour and I would dutifully write down their answers so I could consult it later and remember why I hired them in the first place ... how stupid is that.

Here are some stupid questions to ask in an interview:
- Are you a self starter?
- Do you consider yourself a people person?
- Are you a leader?
- Are you a Green Bay Packers fan?
- Do you have a problem with overtime?
- Did you get good grades in school?

All of these questions will get only one response. They are basically an intelligence test and not interview questions. If ANY ONE answers “no” to these questions don’t hire them. These are leading questions and don’t get under the skin of the person.

Here are some good questions:
- Define integrity.
- What is on your bookshelf right now?
- Who needs you?
- Tell me about a time when you got in over your head and what you did about it.
- What is the greatest event in your life so far?

When I was a rookie I had the first set of questions and wondered why I really didn’t know my new employee. When I became a little seasoned I evolved to the second set of questions and enjoyed the people I worked with. After hundreds of interviews I broke even those questions down into just two. Two questions told me what I needed to know about the person beyond the non-verbal’s described in the last column. Two questions to get below the surface:
- What do you expect from me, your boss?
- What can I expect from you, my employee?

Confused? Not really, you can find out a lot about a person from those two questions. See if you can tell which I would hire based on the following answers.

What do you expect from me, your boss?
- A paycheck
- A chance to prove myself
- Two weeks paid vacation
- A company car
- Experience, guidance, and knowledge

What can I expect from you, my employee?
- My best, everyday
- Eight hours, minus breaks of course
- My support of you, to make YOU look good
- Loyalty
- The extra mile
- 40 hours a week, with time and a half for more

Which would you hire? Maybe the more important question is: Which are you?

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