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6 Interview Questions To Find The Right People To Hire
Hiring new employees has one of the greatest impacts on a business. Typical interviews focus on qualifications and how well individuals present themselves. However, the most important quality of an employee is good character. Once interviews are over, decisions usually come down to the employer’s intuitions about each applicant’s character. Unfortunately, those who “perform” well in interviews are not always those who have the best character. True character is often hard to see during short interviews.
Using direct questions (e.g. Are you honest? or Are you a hard worker?) during an interview make it difficult to expose true character. A dishonest person will answer these questions convincingly. Instead of direct questions ask questions that do not have obvious right answers and will require the applicant to justify their answer. These type of questions help identify positive or negative attributes in the person. Consider the 6 following attributes and the sample questions.
Attribute 1: Honest or Dishonest
One of the most valuable attributes that create good character is honesty. Employees who are honest always tell the truth and are fair with others. People who are dishonest lie, cheat, and steal. To determine whether or not a job candidate is honest you could ask the following question. What are your feelings regarding chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcies? (You may need to explain that in chapter 7 bankruptcy the debtor doesn’t lose any assets and is not required to pay back the debt. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debts are required to be repaid.) If they are willing to take from their creditors, they will likely take from their employers.
Attribute 2: Responsible or Irresponsible
Those who are responsible use good judgment and accept accountability for their behavior. Those who are irresponsible make excuses and blame others. In your interview you could offer the following scenario: Who should be responsible for the settlement? A man attended a restaurant’s grand opening and stayed for more than three hours, drinking cocktail. After leaving in his car, he crossed the center line and collided with a motorcycle. The motorcycle rider sued the steakhouse and the car driver and won $60 Million.
The ideal answer is that the bulk of the responsibility should be placed on the car driver. The car driver chose to over drink. The goal for this scenario is to start a dialogue. If a potential employee states that it is the restaurant’s fault, this person will likely be irresponsible.
Attribute 3: Charitable or Greedy
Someone who is charitable cares about others. They possess love, kindness, generosity and understanding. Those who are greedy care only about themselves. A good question would be: What volunteer work have you done in the last month? If a potential employee does not make time for others, they won’t make time for others at work.
Attribute 4: Industrious or Lazy
Being industrious is more than being busy. The industrious are persistent, energetic, diligent, and generally strive for perfection. The lazy, on the other hand, resist work and exertion and search for ways to look busy. To find out about work ethic ask a question like: What jobs did you have in high school and college? Those who worked in high school and college are likely to have developed good work ethic and the attribute of industry.
Attribute 5: Thrifty or Wasteful
Those who are thrifty are careful when using resources and are mindful of the future when spending money. Those who are wasteful are inefficient in their use of time, effort and resources. A good question would be: If you received an unexpected $10,000 inheritance, what would you do with the money?
An answer showing thriftiness would be paying off debts, saving or investing the money. A wasteful answer would include extravagant purchases with no consideration of debt or savings. If someone would spend their own money carelessly, they will also spend their employer’s money carelessly.
Attribute 6: Humble or Proud
A person who is humble is also grateful and teachable. They typically don’t feel that certain jobs are “beneath them”. Someone who is proud is arrogant and conceited. Ask the question: Who would you give credit to for your major work accomplishments? Those who are proud will take all the credit for their accomplishments. The humble will recognize that others have helped them achieve success.
When possible use a try-out or trial period of a couple days up to 2 or 3 weeks if available. If a project can not be assigned in the initial screening process, use this trial period to test new employees. Have them prove themselves using a variety of assignments. If a new employee is not measuring up, and it becomes clear that this will be a bad hire, you haven’t failed unless you don’t end the employment. Some employers will have a hard time ending a newly assigned job. While letting someone go is not enjoyable, the bigger problem will be working with this individual for years to come. It is much easier to go back to the interview process and hire the right person.
Identifying the attributes that define character can be a difficult task. A successful job interview must be more than answering questions well. It must include answering question types that identify and reveal attributes that define character. Becoming successful at conducting character driven interviews will have a positive impact on your business by enabling you to identify good character and to hire the right people.
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