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manager adviceAcing a job interview is just as important for the interviewer as it is the interviewee. Per a CareerBuilder survey of hiring managers about one bad hire:

  • 24% said it cost their business more than $50,000 in the last year.
  • 39% lost money to recruit and train another worker.
  • 39% reported less productivity.
  • 33% stated the bad hire had a negative effect on employee morale.
  • 19% said it had a negative effect on client relations.
  • 11% reported fewer sales.
  • 9% experienced legal issues.

So, just as someone going on an interview needs to ace certain kinds of questions, the manager needs to ace reading potential hires in an interview – because they are going to either help you or cost you big time!

If you are interviewing someone for your team, develop very specific questions. Ask in a manner so that the interviewee is required to give real-life examples. This will show you how they think and work when put into situations similar to what they’ll face in the role you’re interviewing for. When they’re answering, make sure you listen for a clear description of how they like to work and what unique value they will bring to your team. Listen for what they don’t say as well – if they’re not telling you what kind of unique value they’ll deliver, they’re probably not the right hire. In addition, when someone is late, interrupts you in the interview, or says something inappropriate, you can assume it’s a sign of more to come. In summary, you get what you put into this process. The more prepared you are to conduct the interview, the more likely you are to hire the right person.

Here’s a big watch-out when it comes to interviewing: Managers tend to hire people just like themselves. That’s understandable (especially if you think you’re good at your job!), however if you are not careful you might end up with a team or department that’s not balanced. For example, if you already have a few people on your team (including yourself) who approach tasks with a Type A personality, you might want to consider other types, people who might balance out the pros and cons Type As bring to the team. I can personally testify about how valuable it is to team up with those who are different from me. They keep me in check, and as a team we often develop concepts and content that could only come from a team of different thinkers and skill sets.

So, my challenge to you is to hire someone smarter than yourself! One of the great mistakes we make as leaders is thinking that in order to be a great manager we have to know everything better than anyone else on the team. I’ve often said that the most successful employee is not the one who thinks they know everything, but rather the one who knows from whom to get the answers or resources. Hire candidates that are not satisfied with remaining in the status quo – ones who aren’t just going to solve problems today, but be a force for your organization in the future.