Hiring was never meant to be easy.

Source: Ms. Monta Mokanu¸ PKF Malta¸ August 2012

The job interview is a powerful factor in the employee selection process in most organizations. It’s arguably the main method for hiring a potential employee. Everyone would agree that doing the right interviewing job benefits the company. An effective and efficient hiring process is essential to your personal and business success. You must hire people who can put forth your company’s positive image while performing with accuracy and efficiency. Your well trained¸ conscientious employees are your most valuable assets. Therefore¸ it is essential that the employer have a game plan while going through an interview.

Background checking and checking references are also key factors in hiring decisions. But this article provides the fundamentals for interviewing a potential employee. Interviewing job candidates is difficult¸ especially because some candidates are a lot better at interviewing than they are at working. Hiring qualified employees should be your primary focus. If you don’t have good interviewing skills¸ you may end up offering a job to someone who is a poor fit for the job or the company. Hiring qualified employees has become both an art as well as a science. One of the hardest parts of conducting an interview is to know how to get the applicant to open up and give you real answers. Generally¸ you have to make a decision whether or not to hire an applicant based on the 15 minutes you spend interviewing him/her. Most important things are being well prepared with interview questions and pay attention to candidate body language. Ponder for a moment the last person you hired. After you selected them¸ did they work out as intended? Or did they turn into somebody totally unlike what you thought when you interviewed them?

Having several questions prepared beforehand is very valuable. Even though you are busy (aren’t all managers?) it is very important to ask both open-ended questions as well as those that require detailed responses. Identify characteristics of your best employees. First define the qualities¸ characteristics and basic aptitude you want to find in a potential employee. Then you have to develop interview questions to identify these characteristics. Try to ask mix of questions to gain insights into the candidate’s behavior¸ opinions¸ experience¸ and background.

Be careful. Most job candidates feel interview questions can be decoded and hacked¸ letting them respond to those questions with “perfect” answers. And they are right¸ especially if you insist on asking opinion – based job interview questions. Asking opinion – based questions is a complete waste of time. Every candidate comes prepared to answer general questions about teamwork¸ initiative¸ interpersonal skills¸ and leadership. That’s way you should ask interview questions that elicit facts instead of opinions. Because you can never rely on what you claim you will do¸ but you can learn a lot from what you have already done.

Some examples:

What are some aspects of your current (or past) position that you really enjoy? What are some that you are unhappy with? This question is likely to give you a lot of information about how the employees interact with others. It will also give you real information on why the applicant left (or is leaving) his/her current position.

Ask him/her to describe a work policy or