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Recruiting and Hiring Advice

Interviewing Tips

As a small business owner, you're often a master of all trades, by necessity.

But what about your interview skills -- do they measure up? Are you ready for the next prospective candidate who walks in the door?

In this Monster video, author and career transition expert Emily Bennington tests your interview skills so you're prepared to successfully recruit your next potential superstar.

Emily Bennington specializes in two distinct forms of career transition: college students entering the workforce and women leaders entering executive management. She is author of Who Says It's a Man's World: The Girl's Guide to Corporate Domination and Effective Immediately: How to Fit In, Stand Out, and Move Up at Your First Real Job.

Other videos featuring Emily Bennington:

Video Transcript:

Are you usually the one asking questions during the interview process? If so, it’s time to turn the tables and test your interview skills. I’m going to give you five questions and it’s your job to answer true or false to each.

Question number one: You should have more than one interviewer in the room.

Answer:  True.

While there’s no employment law that mandates the number of interviewers you should have, it’s always a good idea to have more than one person asking the question.

If you’re running a small business, I know it can be tough to pull people from their core work but odds are good that you’ll remember more and make a better hire if you’re not the only person in the room taking notes and asking questions.

Question number two:  You can ask candidates about social groups they belong to.

Answer: False. 

Legally you can only ask about professional and industries associations. Social groups, particularly those related to parenting, politic and church, are off limits even if the candidate brings them up.

Question number three:  You can hire for attitude.

Answer: True.

I know we’ve all heard the phrase ‘hire for attitude and train for skill’ but it’s hard to get an accurate assessment of a candidate’s attitude during the interview phase, when everybody’s  got their game face on.

So the solution is, ask behavioural interview questions. Have candidates describe how they handle specific situations, from their most challenging assignment to their most difficult customers or clients.

If they throw an old employer under the bus, or blame their challenges on other people, then you got a big ol’ red flag that this person might not be a good fit for your culture. 

Question number four: You can tell interviewees that your company provides long term employment.

Answer: False. 

I know in small businesses, every employee is valuable and in many cases, treated like extended family -- which makes it that much easier to slip in little comments in the interview like “Our employees are here forever!” Not a good idea.

You want to avoid using words like ‘forever,’ ‘long term,’ ‘permanent’ or ‘security,’ because you don’t want that language to flare up and cause problems down the road just in case that employee has to be let go for any reason.

Question number five : You owe every candidate a follow up.

Answer: False.

You certainly don’t owe candidates anything, but one of the biggest complaints that job seekers have is that they don’t hear back from employers after the interview process.  So you really should follow up with every candidate, thank them for their time and if possible let them know where you are in the interview process.

Treat every prospective hire as if they were prospective customer – because, who knows -- they might be.

Well, how did you do? I certainly hope that we’ve given you some things to think about as you search for your next rock star hire.

I’m Emily Bennington and I’ll see you next time.


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