And what about the ones you shouldn’t?

Many small business owners that I meet wish they could perfect their interviewing techniques. The trouble is that you probably don’t interview that often – unless you have significant problems holding on to staff or are growing considerably. Hence it isn’t something that people are very practiced in.

There also isn’t much help out there on this topic for employers; for example there is only one book on Amazon at present, however there is lots of help for candidates!

So…which questions should you be asking, and in what format?

Well to begin with you do want to be doing some planning before commencing your search and sitting down with your shortlist of candidates, so that you get the most relevant information from the candidate in the time that you have with them.

Begin by thinking about the sorts of tasks that the person will be carrying out and hence the skills that they need to have. Past behaviour is the strongest predictor of future behaviour and hence you need to be asking the candidate for examples of times when they have demonstrated these skills

E.g. tell me about a project that you have led that was particularly successful, and follow up with some probing questions; what did you do that made it successful? …. And would you do anything differently next time?

This is very important so that you establish the behaviours that the candidate exhibited that brought them success, as well as their degree of self-awareness.

The aim is to establish a beginning, middle and end to the answers that a candidate provides. Try following the simple STAR-interviewing model. STAR stands for situation, task, action and result. In other words what was the situation and the task in hand, what did the candidate do and what was the outcome? This also helps the candidate to be more concise.

If you would like to develop your interview skills so that bad hires are a thing of the past, click here to download the FREE eBook ‘Top Tips on How To Interview’.