Many articles have been written about how to be a winner on your first job interview, or even what tips you should follow in order to survive this crucial moments of your career. Not a lot has been said, on the other hand, about what are the things you should consider when you are looking for a new addition to your company, when you are the one giving the job interview, instead of the one being interrogated.
If you have the privilege of being the one giving the job interview, I would like to give you some tips on what to look for on the people you interview, tips that will help you recognise and meet the needs of your company by selecting the right people. I also hope at the same time that those who are reading this and find themselves at the other side of the desk, being interviewed, recognise the areas that need improvement in their own resumes.
It is hard to show initiative on a job interview, since you want to promote yourself but at the same time want to show that you are subject to whatever the company wants you to do. So what is a good way of recognising initiative on an applicant?
“What can you bring to the team?” or “What projects would you like to work on?” are questions that give room to the applicant to take initiative and express what they actually want to do and where they see themselves in the company. The way in which they answer this questions will reveal if they have been thinking about it in an active way, or if they have been passive about the matter and simply waited for you to ask a more specific question before they could think of an answer.
Remember, you want people who take initiative because they are always one step ahead and bring people on board instead of being the reason why the ship is sinking.
“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
Questions about future plans, even if they seem irrelevant to the situation, will help you see if the person you are interviewing actually takes the time to envision who they will become and therefore will envision what your company’s next step could be.
Never underestimate the dreamers, they are always ahead of those who are stuck in reality, just make sure that dreamers are partnered with the right people, because without those who actually DO they will not move forward either. So, dreamers and doers need each other in order to move at all.
“What does a day in your life look like?” “Do you have any hobbies, do you practice any sports, art, other disciplines?”
Tied to what was said on the previous point is discipline. You want to make sure that the people who you hire will be able to carry responsibility and accomplish tasks on time and do it well. Finding out if they already practice discipline in small tasks or hobbies in their lives will already tell you a little bit about how they will carry themselves in your company.
Discipline is key not only to accomplish the tasks that are given to one, but also to develop as a professional. Disciplined people consistently work on improving and getting better at what they do, so this is the people you want to have on board.
“What are you good at?”
Skill is necessary, obviously, it is what will cover the need that your company has and the reason why you are looking for someone who has it.
There is no point in hiring someone who does not have what it takes to take on the job. Receiving someone who does not have what is required for the position will only give you a headache along the way, but on the other hand everyone can grow, so if you do see potential in the person, and have the time and patience to produce growth in them, it will be much worth it.
Skill will only take you so far, but character is what sustains you where talent takes you. Integrity, honesty and excellence are things that will make a sure foundation for your company, you can always improve skill, but character is something hard to change. Choose wisely.
Last but not least, you should be looking for people who are willing to learn, people who know how to take both positive and negative feedback and use the second to improve. People who are big enough to accept their mistakes and recognise their weaknesses. People who are never too “good” to learn something new.
Tell us! What else would you look for in a job interview?