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Actionable Interview Tips to Identify Great Candidates

In Interviews — by Erin Engstrom

job interview to identify great candidates
Every company’s hiring process is a little bit different. Some businesses take days to evaluate a candidate while others take months. Some require candidates to take a skills assessment or personality test while others don’t. Regardless of what your hiring process looks like, though, there’s one step that’s virtually guaranteed: the interview.

A great interview is arguably harder for the interviewer to nail than it is for the candidate. All too often, an interviewer may walk away from the experience feeling like they didn’t get the insight they needed to make an informed decision. These articles offer tips on how you can make the interview a useful tool to identify great candidates for your organization.

4 Essential Questions to Ask Startup Candidates
What were you doing the last time you realized you had lost all track of time?’ You want passionate and creative people on your team, right? All exceptional candidates have experienced “being in the zone” at least once in their life (or on a rather permanent basis). The ability to commit passionately to a project is crucial for startups aiming big and during these moments of intense creativity and productivity – the best ideas are born.”
Dianna Labrien (@DiLabrien)/Tech.Co

Cut the B.S. and Evaluate the ‘Fit’ of Potential Hires with Just Two Questions
“I’m a believer in the behavioral interview, but if I had only five minutes with a candidate, I’d ask them the following two questions: Tell me when you have been most satisfied in your career’ and Tell me when you have been least satisfied in your career.’ Those two questions measure motivational fit and are stunning in their simplicity. Assuming you like the background and experiences of the candidate and are confident they can do the job, you really only need to evaluate if your company, the specific opportunity and the candidate are a fit for each other.”
Kris Dunn (@kris_dunn)/The HR Capitalist

The Magnificent Seven: Interview Questions to Help Hire the Right Candidate
What do you want to get out of this role?’ What are you looking to achieve? What do you expect to learn? This is very important. A job is a give and take. As an employer you expect certain things from an employee. Well guess what – they expect certain things from you as well. It’s important these are aligned. Can you both provide each other with what you each need? Whether it’s an entry-level role or a leadership position, this question helps you understand what they want to accomplish – can they make good on accomplishing what you’re expecting of them in this role and can you make good on what they’re expecting?”
Scott Span (@SSpanTolero)/ERE Media TLNT blog

Happy Hiring
“Hire for both a cultural and business fit. During the hiring process, I have candidates meet the team. Sure, we’re thinking about what a new employee can do for our business, but also what it will feel like to work together day-to-day. Startup culture requires not only innovation and smarts, but also a toughness, and the ability to have a sense of humor. Personality can make or break a company.
Kelsey Recht (@KelseyRecht)/Huffington Post

Hire People, Not Skills
If a candidate openly shares their life and work experiences, listen hard. I love hearing about key moments that shaped people into who they are today. Stories of overcoming adversity, not fitting in, moving to a new country–these details give clues about how someone deals with challenges. Adaptation skills show that when the candidate encounters a tough problem, team change, or new project, they’re going to feel confident they can overcome it. These folks don’t give up easily. MacArthur Fellow and psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth calls this quality “grit.” Grit is more than just perseverance. Duckworth ties grit to a focus on longterm goals and following through on commitments. Candidates who’ve overcome adversity over a long period of time because they can see a rewarding end result are gritty, and are usually great people to hire.”
Aarron Walter (@aarron)/MailChimp

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