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The Interview: The First Step to Building the Perfect Employee

The Interview Process

People aren’t lumps of clay that you can mould into whatever you wish. In fact, candidates come in all shapes and sizes; with varying skill levels and potential. Start with the character traits you believe are most important in your company’s culture. Is it integrity, diligence, problem-solving, reliability, etc.? Sure, we want it all but if that perfect person existed, they probably wouldn’t be available. Start by listing the three character traits you are looking for.

I spend less than 10 minutes confirming a candidate’s experience and skill set. I don’t waste time asking a candidate to review themselves at their previous job; I assume their recollection will be skewed. Their resume says it all so once we confirm they have the skills and experience we require, it’s on to the most important part of the interview.

I create questions geared towards identifying if this candidate has the attributes I’m looking for. Let’s say I want someone capable of making quick decisions using a strong mental thought process. I will create two or three scenarios for the candidate, and see how he/she responds. I spend no more than 30 minutes identifying if this candidate has my three core attributes and then the last 15 minutes talking about their activities outside of work. Sometimes, this part of the interview is the most revealing. I like to think that these last 15 minutes can save or torpedo the interview.

At the end of each interview, I score the candidate. On a scale of 0-3, did they meet the job requirements I’m looking for? On a scale of 0-5, how well did they demonstrate the three core attributes I’m looking for? Finally, during the last 15 minutes when we talked about what they do on their personal time, I assign a score 0-2. I add up their total score , 0-10.

I believe that 20% of the candidates interviewed should be brought back for a second interview.