Interview Effectively 
August 11, 2014

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Most business owners have never been taught how to properly interview people for a position. Fortunately, the most effective interviewing process is quite simple, as long as you can discipline yourself to learn it and then follow it.

Suitability of the Candidate
A variety of excellent assessment instruments and personality tests are available that you can use to get a better feeling for the suitability of the candidate. In my business, we use various instruments with each person, score them, and give copies of the results to the candidate. We then discuss the findings with the candidate in a spirit of open inquiry, mutually seeking the best way to interpret them as they relate to the job under consideration.

Don't Start Selling Until You Have Decided to Buy
In other words, resist the temptation to begin the interview by telling the candidate what a great job is being offered and what a great company you have before you have concluded that this is the kind of person you want to hire in the first place.

The Key to Good Interviewing
The key to good interviewing is for you to ask good questions and then listen carefully and patiently to the answers. Pause before replying. Allow silences in the conversation. Question for clarification. Ask "What do you mean?" regularly. Never assume that you know or understand what is said until you have checked to be sure.

The Person Who Asks the Questions has Control
Be sure that you are the person asking the questions and not the other way around. The more a person talks, the better feeling you will get about whether or not he or she is a good candidate for the job. And you learn only when you are listening. You don't learn anything when you are talking about yourself, the company, or the job.

The "Swan Formula"
There is a simple formula you can use in an interview. It is called the "Swan Formula" and comes from executive recruiter John Swan. It is based on the letters S-W-A-N. These stand for the four ingredients you are looking for: Smart, Work Hard, Ambitious, and Nice.

Other Qualities to Look For
First of all, look for achievement or result orientation. When you ask questions, listen for examples from the person's background where he or she has really enjoyed succeeding and getting results at a previous job. The only real predictor of future performance is past performance. Probe this area carefully and demand specifics, not generalities: "What exactly did you do and what results did you get?"

Listen for Intelligent Questions
One of the hallmarks of curiosity is that a good candidate will have serious questions, usually written out, that he or she wants to ask about you, the company, the job, opportunities for the future, and so on.

The Right Candidate
The right candidate will want to start as soon as possible. The wrong candidate will have all kinds of reasons for delaying a decision or delaying leaving a current employer. The worst candidates of all are usually those who want to take a vacation before they start working for you.

Action Exercise
Plan your next interview in advance. Make a list of questions that you are going to ask. Build them around the skills and qualities that are most important to the successful completion of the job's key tasks. Don't get caught wondering what you're going to say next.

 
excerpted from Brian Tracy's "Success Mastery"

If you want help getting your business to the next level or you just want to make 2014 Your Best Year Ever, give me a call. I am here to help!
Be Great!

Jim Flemming
Certified Business Coach and Sellability Advisor
FocalPoint Business Coaching Excellence
1-506-849-6319 or toll free: 1-877-223-0622