Interviewing a potential employee? You need to keep several things in mind.
When interviewing a potential employee for your business, you need to keep several things in mind. First, there are certain questions that you should not ask for legal reasons, usually having to do with areas like age, religion, marital status, sexual orientation and the like. Second, once you hire someone, you are obligated to her in many expensive ways like her pay, benefits and unemployment benefits should she be laid off so you want to make a good hire. A thorough interview is the best way to avoid potential future difficulties for both you and the employee; if it's a bad fit, it's better for both of you to realize that before the person is hired.
Your time is valuable, and there's no point using it interviewing people who are not right for the job. Read through resumes and applications carefully in order to weed out unqualified applicants. Don't be shy about sending out an email or making a phone call seeking out more information before granting an interview. Limit the number of interviews to five or six, both so that you can give each candidate adequate time and attention, and so you can keep them all straight in your head while deciding who to hire. The care and attention that went into an application or a resume is probably indicative of the care and attention that a potential employee will give to his job.
Focus on Intelligence and Attitude
During the interview, spend more time inquiring about a candidate's critical thinking abilities and attitude, and less time focusing on her previous accomplishments. A smart, enthusiastic person with the right attitude, but perhaps fewer accomplishments, will do better than a highly accomplished person with a poor attitude. Present the candidate with scenarios and "what if" questions. Attempt to make the interview a conversation rather than an interrogation. The more at ease you can make the candidate, the more realistic idea you will gain of what she would be like in a day-to-day work environment.
Let the Candidate Ask Questions
At some point in the interview, allow the candidate to ask you questions about the company, the position and anything that he wants. If a candidate has no questions, this is a bad sign. Any enthusiastic and curious person will have questions that he wants answered, and any intelligent applicant would have prepared some for the interview. You can tell a lot about a person by the kinds of questions he asks, and by his reactions to your answers. Pay attention to an applicant's credentials and accomplishments, but balance this with your own instincts about what kind of person you are dealing with.