You’ve posted that job application and you’ve got TONS of quality candidates who applied! Probably because you read my post on how to make a bomb-ass job application so you can get the right people in the right seat in your business. Now it’s time to conduct a job interview. If you’re just starting the hiring process, make sure you go back and take a look at the two prior posts covering how to determine WHAT you want to/need to hire for and HOW to put together a quality job application to get the exact candidates you want and deserve!
The final post in the series will be how to onboard a new hire with success so your employees want to stick around for the long haul and can get productive right away
But now, you have to narrow down WHO you’re going to hire and meet them to determine if they’re a good fit. Seems like an extremely daunting process! But look no further if you’re ready to conduct a job interview.
Color-Code Your Applicants
Let’s take a look at narrowing down the candidates. Start by eliminating the most obvious. I recommend color-coding each column or category. Green for things that you like about a particular candidate, yellow for things you might be flexible about, and red for deal-breakers.
Let’s get to eliminating!
Remember the gotcha question you included on the job application? If they didn’t answer it, got it wrong, or didn’t perform the task, ax them. Don’t look at their names, rates, experience, or portfolio. If they cannot follow/see this SIMPLE step, they will miss important details in their work for you. Trust me. Does everyone have a bad day? Yes. But people applying for jobs should be putting their best foot forward if they want the job!
Next, you can look at one of two things and it is important to decide which is the most important to you. How tight is your budget? If you have a really STRICT budget, I suggest looking at the rates that people included. But, if you put the pay in the job application, you can skip that part as the candidates should already be aware of the rate. Maybe you’re a little wiggly on the budget or you’d increase it for the perfect person? Move on to other parts of their application that might be more important to you!
Then it’s really personal preference. Take a look at their portfolios, work samples or other personal information, like personality type. See how you feel about each candidate! Then, use the color-coding system, evaluate how many of each color each candidate has and make your final selection of interviewees!
Schedule Your Interviews
Now time to schedule interviews! Depending on how many people applied, and how many candidates you want to speak with, I recommend interviewing 3-5 people. Scheduling doesn’t have to be tricky either. Sign up for a free Calendly account and set your availability for the week you want to have interviews. Send an email out to all candidates you wish to interview and BCC them. Ask them to schedule an interview at their convenience. BOOM – done in one email!
You may wish to choose ONE more candidate than you actually hope to interview. You’ll be surprised, each time that I’ve requested to conduct an interview with candidates, there’s always been one that never selects an interview time.
Alright, so you’ve chosen who you want to conduct an interview with, you’ve sent them your availability. Now what the HECK do you ask these people?! If you’re new to being a business owner, you might be surprised at how daunting interviewing can be. This is especially true if you’ve never really been in a position to conduct an interview before.
Read on for how interviews can go, and sample questions to ask!
How to Conduct the Interview
Start by telling the candidate a little more about the what and why of your business; a little more than what was in the job application. What are your big picture ideas? Your goals for the next 3-6 months? What are the specific deliverables you’re hoping to get from this position?
After you have this brief 2-4 minute spiel, end it with one simple question.
Is this something you can help me with?
And then LISTEN.
Hopefully, it is at this point the interviewee begins to say HOW they can help with your goals and asks some questions. Someone who is clear on “the HOW” these deliverables can be accomplished should have some questions on HOW your business works. They might ask questions about what tools you use, have you ever hired for something like this before, or who else is on the team. Either way, it should be clear that they have some ideas about how they can help you with the job you’re interviewing them for.
From there, it is good to get into the specifics and get to know the candidates a little bit more. Here are some questions I like to ask and (in this order)
- What do you consider to be your greatest strength?
- Why do you do what you do? What are your goals for your business?
- What do you like to do in your downtime?
- Describe a time you were asked to handle something you didn’t know what to do. How did you handle it?
- What do you NOT enjoy doing?
- Describe how you handle juggling work between different clients.
- Describe a time you couldn’t keep a commitment you originally thought you could. How did you handle it?
You certainly don’t have to ask any or all of these! Trust your gut and make your decision based on their answers and the vibe you get.
Optional: You can include a SIMPLE test project for applicants before conduct an interview with them. By simple, I mean something that if they have knowledge of this job, they can complete in under 15 minutes. Simple landing pages, a brain dump of a blog post or Facebook post ideas, are a few ideas for sample projects.
Hiring is a really hard decision! You’ll have a feeling after speaking with 3-4 candidates who fits best with your business! Questions about what to ask in an interview? Send me a DM on Instagram or leave a comment right here!