Did you watch the Super Bowl this past weekend? Even if you aren’t an NFL fan, I’m sure you would agree that both the Chiefs and the 49ers have proven themselves successful this season at building a winning team. Just to make it to the Super Bowl is impressive, and I’m sure a lot of factors are to thank, including recruiting and player selection.
NFL scouts and coaches follow young, highly talented football players throughout their high school and college careers to determine if their skills, and attitudes, will be a good match for what the team needs. The pros make their draft decisions based on knowing what positions need filled, observing the performances of the athletes, and talking to the athletes all before the draft begins.
These same principles apply to hiring for your business. You also need to decide what you are looking for, and then you can create your interview plan. While you have “game” performance information available on internal candidates, how can you determine the possible performance of outside people? The best way is to ask questions that will give all candidates, internal and external, an opportunity to share their past work performance and more about them as people.
Here are 5 interview question tips to help you with your team-building process:
- Use questions focused on specific past work performance.
Examples include, “Tell me about a time when you were able to successfully help an upset customer. What exactly did you do?” or, “Describe a time when you disagreed with your manager and share with me what happened. How was the situation resolved?” Trying to get specifics rather than general information will best help when determining the best person for the job.
- Ask questions that will allow you to see if they have an appropriate understanding of the position.
“Tell me one or two skills that make you most qualified for this position. And what are you most excited about this position?” One main focus is to find someone who possesses the necessary qualifications to fill the position. With questions like this, you get to hear what each candidate considers to be his/her core competencies and if he/she understands what to expect in the role.
- Gather some contrary evidence during the interview.
Everyone makes an occasional mistake and you need to know how the person deals with them. Add a couple of questions to your interview plan to cover the times the candidate was not successful. Preface the question by telling them that no one is perfect and you want to know what they learned from the situation. For example, “Share with me a time when you were unable to…” and fill in a situation that will happen in your workplace. The answers to these questions will give you a balanced picture of the person. If the person says they can’t think of a time they made a mistake, then you really have a problem!
- You will talk to some great people that may have limited related work experience.
They might struggle to come up with good examples to give you, but this doesn’t mean they won’t be a great “draft” choice for your team. Encourage them to answer your questions with examples from their college classes, summer jobs, clubs, or sports teams.
- You want to get to know them as much as possible.
Will they “fit in” with your team? Ask questions like, “How would you describe your own working style?” And, “what three words describe your ideal work environment?” These questions will allow you to know what type of worker they are and what will help them feel good about their workplace.
The pros know that a player’s past performance is the best indicator of how they will perform in the next game, and that attitude matters! Standard interview questions won’t provide you with a true picture of their past performance and character. Build your winning team by asking questions that will provide the information you need to make the right selection decisions.
And kudos to the Kansas City Chiefs…their Teamwork made their ultimate Dreamwork!
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