5 tips for getting the right fit (when hiring!)

We’ve all been there, you’ve got a new role or a gap in your team to fill but it’s a daunting task to find the right fit. You’ve tried googling good interview questions but they don’t seem quite right… here’s 5 tips to nail the journey to finding the right candidate!

 

1.     Tailor the questions to the role/ideal fit. Create a skills and qualities wishlist for your candidate. Often times we look at the tasks that the dream candidate would do in their role and try to find some one who has experience in those tasks. Whilst performance is important, don’t forget to look at the key qualities an absolute superstar would need to have the in to have to achieve these tasks. Remember, the right fit can often learn skills but it’s important they have the right attitude to do so! The interview process will be a lot more effective if it is tailored to the skills and qualities you are hiring for than if it is the same generic questions for each role.

2.     Pick an interview format. Does this person deal with people or customers a lot? Would there be benefit to a group interview to see how they interact in a group/team environment? Would a paid trial give you a good indication? Is it best to have a 1:1 with the boss? Regardless of what you choose try to have multiple people involved so there are different perspectives and you can increase the chances of diversity (and reduce bias). If you are having multiple rounds of interviews ensure that the interview values your time and theirs.

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3.     Behavioural questions and exercises. Once you have the skills and qualities listed out, build out some questions that relate to this area. Try to use or create a mix of questions that are both behavioural (past focused) and exercises (future focused). Behavioural questions tell you how some one has performed in the past, which should give you an indication of their future performance. Behavioural questions often begin with ‘Tell me about a time when’ or ‘Can you share an example where you…’. However many candidates may not have experience in all areas of the role, so behavioural questions may not fully show you their potential. Weaving in activities can give you a real-time indication of their skills and competence. Presentations, role plays, writing samples etc are all examples of exercises they could complete in an interview. Once you design the questions and exercises, do a gut check, will some one answering this REALLY tell you about their level or skill or the qualities they possess? If yes, you are on your way!

4.     Dig deeper. During the interview don’t just rely on your page and preparation– ask probing questions. Listen for vague language like ‘we created x and achieved y’ and be ready to ask what their role in the project was, or what learnings they had.  

5.     Avoid bias! It’s common to adopt interview bias (without realising it!). Be aware of the traps. Some of these might be – ‘the halo/horns effect’ letting the really bad (or good) thing that the interviewee says overshadow everything else they they share. Take notes. Trusting your memory can influence your overall decision, the more recent person may seem more exciting as you just connected with them. Hire for the role. Be really clear on the role requirements and use that as the benchmark, sometimes it’s easy to be drawn to aspects of a candidate that wouldn’t be relevant to their job role.

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