you're hired chalkboardI know a person who used to hire too fast. We’ll call her Felicia Dunn. Felicia has big dreams for her business. She also has a driven, impatient personality. Things never get done fast enough. She sees all the possibilities in projects and in people and rushes to make them happen.

Felicia would see a need and try to fix it quickly. So when she needed a more sophisticated document filing system than DropBox, she bought a server and hired an IT guy. Both were mistakes. The server sounded like a jet engine. The IT guy lost his temper with another employee and had to be fired on the spot. He had the password to the server. That was several thousand dollars lost!

On more than one occasion, Felicia felt the sting of an employee gone wrong. She sometimes wished she could get her money back that she spent on wages. But eventually she figured out good hiring practices. When considering a new hire, here are seven good questions that Felicia learned to ask.

Question One-Do I Need to Hire at All?

The single most important question you’ll want to ask is, “Do I really need to hire at all?” Far too often, companies decide to hire when restructuring or reallocating tasks would have worked just as effectively and perhaps even kept costs down in the process. Keep this factor in mind when you consider hiring. Perhaps you at least want to try the restructuring option to see if it works. If it doesn’t, you can always hire someone later.  People are always looking for jobs.

Question Two-What Do You Know About Our Company?

Professional people prepare. There is truly no substitution to this rule. If a prospective hire doesn’t have at least a basic idea of what your company, business or firm does, should you really be hiring this individual? Simply ask job seekers what they know about your company, as their answer will likely reveal a good deal of information about them.

Question Three-What Kind of Obstacles Have You Overcome?

If you are looking for insight into how people think and what they think of themselves, then be sure to ask this key question: “What kind of obstacles have you overcome in your life?”  The answer will be revealing; this is true regardless of how the question is answered. You will gain essential information into how people see themselves and what they perceive as a “major challenge.” You will also learn whether or not the prospective hire takes risk or is able to truly tackle challenges.

Question Four-Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?

Question Number Four is a straightforward one, but it is also one you must ask. Why people leave their jobs reveals a great deal about their personality and work ethic.  You may not get the real answer, but you will gain insight into a candidate’s thought processes. Plus, this is a basic question that any job seeker should be prepared to answer. If he or she doesn’t have an answer ready to go, that is a strong indicator that they have not adequately prepared for the interview process.

Question Five-What Are You Currently Doing to Expand Your Skillsets?

Wondering how ambitious, capable or motivated a candidate is? Then ask what they are doing to improve their skillsets. If they are doing nothing or can’t seem to give you a straight answer, then you have learned plenty!

Question Six-How Adaptable Are You?

Most jobs require a degree of adaptation. Asking a candidate about how adaptable they feel they are and then asking them to provide examples is a savvy move. Not everyone is comfortable with change, but your business will likely change at some point. That’s why you need employees that can accommodate that change when it occurs.

Question Seven-Why Should I Hire You Over Someone Else?

The beauty of this question is that it is open ended.  Candidates are forced to reveal something about themselves and how they feel they could contribute to your company.

The threshhold question is whether you need to hire at all. Sometimes you just need to manage your team and resources better. But if you do decide to hire, using these interview questions can help you eliminate the poorly prepared candidates from those that merit a more detailed look.

Alicia Dearn

Alicia Dearn

CEO + Trial Lawyer at Bellatrix PC
Ms. Dearn gives sharp and insightful legal counsel to entrepreneurs and employers so they can advance their businesses fearlessly. She fixes legal problems.
Alicia Dearn