Interview the Crucial Step in Hiring Process
Greg Smith’s cutting-edge keynotes, consulting, and training programs have helped businesses reduce turnover, increase sales, hire superior people, and deliver better customer service. As president and founder of Chart Your Course International, He has implemented professional development programs for thousands of organizations globally. Greg has authored eight informative books including Here Today, Here Tomorrow: Transforming Your Workforce from High Turnover to High Retention and 401 Proven Ways to Retain Your Best Employees. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Most businesses do a miserable job when it comes to hiring, according to Greg Smith, founder and president of Chart Your Course International, an Atlanta management-consulting firm.
And companies of all kinds—including those in the quarry and aggregate industry—stumble in one key area: interviewing.
It’s a costly shortcoming, Smith says. In fact, weak interviewing techniques inevitably lead an operation to waste time and money by hiring a poor match for the job.
So how can you improve the odds of hiring the right operator, technician, fleet manager or secretary? An effective selection and interviewing process follows these five steps:
- Prepare. Before the interview, make sure you understand the key elements of the job. Develop a simple outline that covers the job duties. Work with the incumbent or those familiar with the various responsibilities to understand the details. Screen applications to gain information for the interview. Standardize and prepare the questions you will ask each applicant—a little comparison never hurts.
- Purpose. Remember, you’re being interviewed, too. Skilled and talented applicants often have multiple opportunities from which to choose. Not only are you trying to determine the best applicant, but you also have to convince the applicant this is the best place for him or her to work.
- Performance. Identify the knowledge, attributes, and skills the applicant needs for success. If the job requires special education or licensing, be sure to include those criteria on your list. Identify the top seven attributes or competencies the job requires and structure the interview accordingly. The attributes will, obviously, vary greatly depending on whether you’re hiring an operator or a new manager.
- People Skills. The hardest to determine, as well as the most important part of the process, is identifying the people skills a person brings to the job. Smith says that each applicant wears a “mask.” A good interview and selection process discovers who is behind that mask and determines if a match exists between the individual and the job.
Pre-employment profiles can help you remove the mask, and are an important aspect of the hiring process for a growing number of businesses. By using behavioral assessments and personality profiles, organizations can quickly know how the person will interact with their co-workers, customers, and direct reports. They provide an accurate analysis of an applicant’s behaviors and attitudes, otherwise left to subjective judgment.
- Process. The best interview follows a structured process. This doesn’t mean the process is inflexible and without spontaneity. However, some structure needs to be in place for evaluation purposes. For example, each applicant could be asked the same questions and scored with a consistent rating process. A structured approach helps avoid bias and gives all applicants a fair chance.
The best way to accomplish this is by using behavioral based questions and situational questions. Behavioral based questions help to evaluate the applicant’s past behavior, judgment, and initiative. Here are some examples:
- Describe a crisis you or your organization faced and how you managed it.
- Tell me about the time you reached out for additional responsibility.
- Tell me about the largest project you worked on.
- Tell me about the last time you broke the rules.
Situational based questions evaluate the applicant’s judgment, ability, and knowledge. The interviewer first gives the applicant a hypothetical situation such as:
“You are a quarry manager, and one of your drivers has just told you he thinks another driver is drinking on the job.”
- What should you do?
- What additional information should you obtain?
- How many options do you have?
- Should you call the police?
By understanding the applicant’s personality style, values, and motivations, you are guaranteed to improve your hiring and selecting process.
For more information, visit www.ChartCourse.com or call (770) 860-9464.
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This material has been voluntarily provided by Greg Smith (Chart Your Course International). Greg Smith (Chart Your Course International) is not speaking on behalf of Caterpillar, and the views or opinions expressed in this material are those of Greg Smith (Chart Your Course International) and may not represent the views of Caterpillar.