As a first-time manager, you are taking on increased responsibility and knowing how to successfully interview job applicants is imperative, as hiring mistakes are costly. You’ll likely not be given on-the-job training on interviewing, but by understanding the role you are hiring for and enlisting the help of your colleagues, you can follow the #1 interview tip below to help guide you as a new manager.
#1 Rule: Understand the Desired Skill Set but Hire for Culture Fit
You have the job description in hand for a position on your team that is overflowing with the most desirable skills and, yet it is likely that your job description doesn’t detail the values of your organization. While a solid skill set is important, other skills can be easily taught and learned, and studies show that applicants with superior performance are those who fit well within the organization, not always those with the most impressive skill set.
To interview for culture fit, prepare questions in advance that will help you assess culture fit in the interview. Here are few questions for you to begin with:
• What values are you drawn to?
• Describe your ideal workplace.
• How would you describe the culture here based on what you’ve experienced so far?
Highly-trained interviewers always provide the interviewee a tour of the office to introduce them to other staff members and to allow them to interact in a more informal setting. By paying close attention to the applicant’s behavior, level of comfort, and their language in context during these interactions, you’ll see if he or she would be able to adapt to the core beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that make up your organization. Also, gather feedback from your colleagues on their impressions of the interviewee and observations they found telling about the individual.
The end goal is to for you to start building a structured interview plan that will allow you to identify the interviewees with the right skill set and attributes that align with your company’s values.