Before I boiled down my hiring process into a step-by-step system, I relied a lot on my intuition. While I still think that paying attention to your gut feelings when you’re hiring a team member is really important, I also know that not everyone has the ability to read people the way that I do.
Today, I’m going to share with you 5 things to remember when interviewing a new team member to make sure you’re listening for the right things and hiring the right person.
Ready? Let’s get started.
In this episode:
- The questions to ask if you want to hire a long-term team member
- Not-so-obvious red flags during an interview
- How to prepare for an interview
Listen to the podcast here:
5 Things To Remember When Interviewing a New Team Member
Hello, hello! I’m an extroverted introvert. I don’t choose or enjoy being around people very often but when I am in the mood for it, I love it. I love the deep conversations, the energy, the connection. I am really good with people. The instant I meet you, I can tell if you’re a person I want to get to know or stay far away from. That’s my humblebrag.
But not everyone is like that. And when I sat down to create my hiring system I realized just how much of my process was second nature to me because of my intuitive people skills. And it became my mission to demystify my own process and turn it into something that can be repeated by anyone.
Sure, I can give you a list of red flags to look out for or interview questions to ask. But if you don’t know WHY those things are red flags or what you should be listening for when you ask a certain interview question, it’s not going to help you make the right hire.
If you’re someone who hates hiring or finds the whole process daunting or never knows what to ask in an interview to get the information you really want, then today’s episode is for you. I’m sharing my top 5 things to remember when interviewing a new team member.
Before we jump into that, I want to say that the best interviews start with a solid candidate. If you don’t know how to attract solid candidates, then you need to go to my website right now and download my freebie on how to write a kick-ass job description. Then you can come back here and listen to this episode on how to interview once you’ve got them.
The first thing to remember is that an interview is not an interrogation. You are hiring a subcontractor, not an employee. They are trying to decide if they want to work with YOU and take YOU on as a client as much as you are trying to decide if they are a good fit for you and your business.
So don’t monopolize the conversation and be the only one asking questions. You want to know what questions they have for you as well. Let the conversation flow between the two of you and make sure they’re able to ask some questions as well. If they don’t have ANY questions for you, then that can be a red flag.Let the conversation flow between the two of you and make sure they’re able to ask some questions as well. If they don’t have ANY questions for you, then that can be a red flag. Click To Tweet
The second thing is that you want to ask questions that will help you determine if they are aligned with your values and mission as much as they are with the skills you need.
Mission-oriented questions can be things like “What are you looking for in a client?” and then listen for answers that include values, team culture, and behavior. Another question could be “How do you define success?” and then listen for whether or not their idea of success lines up with yours.
Skills-oriented questions can be things like “What are you really good at professionally?” and then listen for tasks that they enjoy doing so that you know if your requirements or preferences line up.
Number three. They are not an employee. Unless you are actually hiring an employee, please remember that you are hiring a contractor who is a business owner in their own right and treat them accordingly. You can prefer to have someone who works from 10 to 6 every day but you cannot force whoever you hire to work those hours. The point of knowing if that is your preference or not is so that you can find someone who’s normal working hours line up with yours and not so that you can foist that upon whoever you choose regardless of their own schedule.
While we’re on this topic, please for the love of god, also avoid questions that ask them how many other clients they have, if they’re available on nights and weekends, or other shit that sounds like you are going to be a controlling nightmare client from hell.
Imagine if you were on a call with a potential coaching client and they asked how many other coaching clients you had to make sure they were going to be getting the level of individualized service they believe they’re entitled to. You’re recoiling, aren’t you? Don’t do that shit to service pros either.
A good service pro knows that sometimes emergencies happen and they might need to jump in at 2pm on a Saturday to fix something that needs fixing ASAP. Real emergencies are things like your sales page stopped working. Not being able to figure out how to schedule a last-minute email you decided to send at midnight is not an emergency.
Number Four. Don’t ignore the red flags!
You would think this one would go without saying but we’ve all done this. We’ve all hired or dated or had sex with someone who was COVERED in red flags.
Just say no to red flags!
Sometimes red flags are obvious like showing up late to the call or joining the call while wandering around Target. True story.
But sometimes red flags aren’t so easy to spot and it’s not until after you onboard them and they start working that you’re like…well, fuck. That should have been obvious before we got that far. So I guess we’ll call them hindsight red flags.Keep an eye out for anyone who complains about their past clients or team members, anyone whose long-term goals include switching industries or doing what you do, or arrogance which can often indicate that they won’t be a team player. Click To Tweet
Maybe I’ll do an entire episode on red flags but for now keep an eye out for anyone who complains about their past clients or team members, anyone whose long-term goals include switching industries or doing what you do, or arrogance which can often indicate that they won’t be a team player.
And five. Come prepared to the interview. Typically, when you’re interviewing for a position, you’re talking to several people over the course of a week or two. To make the most out of your conversation you want to come prepared.
I always suggest asking each candidate the same questions. Because how can you compare their answers if you ask everyone different questions?
Also, make sure you come prepared to take notes. I’m not saying detailed, blow-by-blow notes, but I always keep a pen and pad handy to jot down keywords or phrases that stand out to me, what time zone they’re in, etc.
And before their interview, I pull up their application email or form submission and give it a read through to refresh my memory. Because, again, how can I ask the right questions if I don’t know who I’m speaking to.
Hiring is a process that is involved but it doesn’t have to be a hard slog that you avoid until you’re in an emergency situation and have to hire the first person who seems like they can get the job done. That’s how you end up with team members who are bad fits, high turnover, and a general feeling of frustration.
I hope these tips were helpful for you and if you want more support in the hiring process, check out my strategy sessions that are perfect for business owners ready to make their next right hire or build their dream team. If you aren’t sure which one you need, book a discovery call to see which session is right for you.
Alright, that’s it for me today. Bye, y’all.