Question: I am about to hire my first employee. What are some interview questions I should ask them, and why are those questions important? What responses should I expect?
Seek to Understand Behavior
"Keep the primary purpose in mind: You are seeking someone who can perform, not a verbal seduction artist. Therefore, I find behavioral-based questions work best. Ie: What was one instance you were under immense pressure? How did you handle it? Or, If "x" happened, what would you do? Continue digging until you feel you have unearthed an authentic response. This may take several follow up questions."
Make People Feel at Ease
"There's no lack of books or websites full of interview questions that you can ask, but my favorite strategy is to get people to ease up, open up, and drop the facade. We often take people for lunch or coffee post-interview, it's amazing what people will tell you when they think the formal interview part is over and you'll get some real insights into who they really are. "
The Ultimate Question to Ask in an Interview
"Where do you want to be in five years? This Q is powerful because it forces the candidate to articulate their professional and personal ambitions in the future. If they have a hard time answering the question, buyer beware! If the candidate doesn't have a clear vision of where they want to be, do you want them at your company? Also, be cautious of non-answers like "I just want to be happy.""
Create a Unique Hiring Process
"We had a very unique hiring process in that we needed to find people who were good on-camera and could quickly adapt to change. We asked people to make videos, sell themselves as a brand and ask how they deal with constant change. We also asked if they thought social media was a 9-5 job, because a community never sleeps. We wanted to know people were hard working and willing to put in extra time. "
Question Their Problem-Solving Techniques
"Understanding how potential employees manage stress and solve problems is one of the most important things you can do during the interview process. Ask questions about stress management, and have the candidate discuss ways they've managed stress in the past. Try to discuss a few real life situations that might occur if the candidate were to work for you to get a sense of their problem solving."
Best Person For This Job?
""Why are you the best person for this job?" I would hope that they would explain how their qualifications and goals complement the your company's vision and values. I personally look for someone who is adaptable to rapidly changing environments, enthusiastic, a fast learner, someone who takes pride in their work, understands and appreciates the value of building long term relationships."