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Interview technique: Three questions for the interview

Interview for the right employeeWhen you surf the internet to better understand how to best approach job candidates, you can learn tips on preventing high turnover, application form mistakes, and legal &  compliance issues. You can download standard interview questions, read the book “the 100 best interview questions”, use a template or are being advised to use a personality test.

Personally I am a big fan of if it comes to finding  innovative ways to interview candidates. I will give you my favorite at the end of this blog. After a few hours of searching and reading you might find yourself completely covered with information and you are wondering “What is going to give me the answer to the core question?”

Is the candidate going to give 110% when working for me?

To answer that main question you don’t have to be an expert in interviewing and you don’t need complicated personality tests. You need to find a way to get an answer to three questions:

  • Do I like the person?
  • Is this person going to like working for us?
  • Can this person do the job?

Do I like the person I am interviewing?

If you are traditionally trained, you might wonder, since when can I not hire somebody because I don’t like him? We all know that employees often times leave a company because of the manager, not necessarily because of the company. For both manager and employee it is important that they can work together. How well would you do as manager/coach if you like the person you work with, how well would you do if that chemistry is missing? A lot less.

We are not looking for a strong friend relationship, but what we are looking for is can you have a chat, have fun during work time?

Try to find out what you have in common, share some of your own experiences to see how the other person response. Are you a person that would like to have fun at work? Show it during the interview!

If the answer is yes, then you can move on to the next phase

Is this person going to like his job at our organization?

In your organization is a certain culture. The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices determines how the work gets done. You can have an incredible office manager, but if this person just cannot adjust to your culture, this person is not going to be successful. He will not like his job, because so much of each job is related to the organizational culture.

When you are interviewing try to find out what organizational culture this person has worked in before, which one where the favorite and which one a reason to walk away?

Can this person do the job?

This is the easiest part of the interview. First of all determine what are the true skills that the person needs to bring to the table, and what are the nice to have skills. Remember most skills can be trained, but a personality cannot be changed.

Then ask for past experiences and ask for times that things didn’t go well, find out how somebody gains new skills. Every new employee needs to learn new skills, even if it is just the way your organization does things. You want to know how to best train your new employee, but also want to know if they are open for change.

In the area of can this person do the job, it is important to find out what in job responsibilities somebody like to do most? Does this align with the job?  If they can only do the work they like for 50% of the time you are setting yourself and your new employee up for failure.

You can see that if you focus your interview strategy on the mentioned three area’s that you will most likely get a new employee that will your culture, and can do the job. You also have learned along the way what the weaknesses are of your candidate. Focus on improving those during the onboarding process, to increase the success ratio.

Now you know what the goal is of the interview, you might want to look at a different approach to interview. Read Jeff Haden’s blog at;  “hiring tips: The Undercover Interview Technique” .


If you would like to learn how to get from understanding what to do, to actually master the skill of interviewing, sign up for one of our interview classes. Click here to learn more:


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