Interviewing For Your First Employee
by Wendy Priesnitz

Q: I'm going to be hiring my micro-business's first employee soon. I'm really nervous about hiring the right person. I'm especially worried about how not to get taken in by somebody who might be good at interviews but bad at the job. How do I know that somebody is who they say they are on their resume?

A: I recently interviewed someone who seemed, in a prior conversation, to have the perfect qualifications for the position I wanted to fill. This included relatively recent experience with a competitor. She brought her resume to the interview, but I didn't read it carefully. The interview was going well and I was getting even more enthused about the applicant, when my partner joined us.

He sat for a few minutes and read the resume. Then he asked the applicant why her recent employment with our competitor didn't appear in her references. She shifted in her seat, lowered her eyes, and quickly excused herself from the interview, never to be heard from again. Had she ever worked for that company? Who knows.

This experience illustrates how important it is to check the facts on a resume. Follow up on references. And if an applicant implies something, such as graduation from university, verify that the program was actually completed.

Don't rush the interview. Give the applicant time to answer your questions fully. If they pause in an answer, don't jump in with another question. Let them fill the (sometimes awkward) pause with more information.

Refrain from revealing the qualities you're looking for in a candidate too early in the interview. Otherwise, the applicant will tailor their answers to suit your requirements. So ask your questions first before describing the position in detail.

Don't ask questions that can be answered with one word answers or by a simple yes or no. Instead, ask scenario questions. These include: what would you do if?, or how would you deal with the following?, or have you ever been in a situation where?

And lastly, if the applicant avoids eye contact or becomes visibly uncomfortable, ask more questions. That is, if they hang around long enough!


Privacy Policy      About Wendy Priesnitz      Copyright     Home