We all know the purpose of the interview is to provide information that will help you hire the best candidate to fill your open position. If you follow my advice you know that I recommend behavioral interviewing as the best interview method. Not familiar with behavioral interviewing? It is based on the premise that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. If you want to know how someone will act in your company find out how they acted in a previous company.
Ask the right questions in the right way
Behavioral interviewing requires that the person conducting the interview know how the job being interviewed is performed. This goes beyond the technical aspects of performing the job. The power of the behavioral interview is finding out how the prospective employee interacted with fellow employees and customers. Asking the appropriate questions can reveal a great deal about the person sitting across the table from you. You want to make sure the person “fits’ with the style of working at your company. Hiring someone technically competent but socially and culturally destructive can be very damaging. You might even be better off hiring someone not as technically astute but they fit how you want people dealt with in the workplace. I provide some guidance in this post Why you should banish the word “would” from your interview vocabulary.
There is an additional way you can get a read on how someone deals with people by including others in the interview process.
People the candidate contacts
Whenever a candidate comes to your place of business for an interview they generally come in contact with one or more people before they are sitting in front of you. They may interact with a security guard, certainly the receptionist, or perhaps other employees passing through a waiting area. Are you following up with these people to get their reactions to the candidate? You should be!
I have been in situations where a sales candidate that I was interviewing was brusque, if not downright rude, to the receptionist. This is an indicator that they might be the same way with a customer’s receptionist. With a supervisory candidate they were not engaging with the people around them even though the other person had engaged them first. These are certainly not good “credentials” for someone who will be working with employees. These “past behaviors” are good indicators of how they might behave at your company.
Always include others
If you want to be more successful with your candidates always try to include others in the “interview” process. Set up situations where others interact with the prospective employee and then follow up with them to get there opinion on whether they would be happy to have that person as a fellow employee. This may help you avoid that person that could be that future “toxic” employee.
Photo credit: Ambro