Breedlove's Briefing: 8 Tips to Improve Hiring Skills

September 16 - Stephanie Breedlove

Hi! I’m Stephanie Breedlove, Co-Founder of HomePay, Author and Angel Investor.

I absolutely adore taking an idea and giving it life in the form a business, then leading it to its full potential. Nothing is more fun. (Seriously!) I’d love for every woman who wants to start her own business to say the same thing, so here I am, mentoring millennial entrepreneurs. When I’m not working, I like to recharge and head outdoors to hike, bike, or stand up paddle board!

Is that list of business news and trending articles you’ve tagged still unread? I get it. Allow me to help. Take a couple minutes to read my summary of articles serving the most pertinent, actionable business topics. Or, take 10 minutes to read the full article, and put another brick on the foundation of your growing career.

This Week’s Must-Read:

Eight Tips and Ten Questions to Improve Your Interviewing and Hiring Skills

Who it’s for:

Everyone who participates in hiring decisions

Why it’s important:

New managers and most entrepreneurs may well have little to no knowledge or experience when it comes to interviewing and hiring. It makes sense. You may not have had the opportunity or reason to be trained on this skill in your previous positions. But it is critically important to add amazing people to your team. The success of your efforts depends on it, and for entrepreneurs it is an area that can lead to failure of your startup if not done right.

The stakes are high, so use these tips to ensure you gain a detailed understanding of your candidates and get the most from every interview.

1. Plan Ahead. Have an understanding of the candidate before they walk in. Sounds obvious, but this simple step is skipped far too often. Along with reviewing their resume, hop online and do some quick research. It will be enlightening.

2. Build a Rapport. At the start of the interview, it is important to break the ice and alleviate any anxiety or tension. Make the candidate feel comfortable.

3. Go with the Flow. If the interview diverts away from the structure you planned, do not panic. Stopping a flowing conversation is rude and counterproductive. Go with the flow, but ensure that all necessary points are covered by the end.

4. Have an Interview Partner. Once comfortable, invite one or two more interviewers to join you. You will gain a more detailed and well-rounded understanding of the candidate.

5. Describe Problems, Ask for Solutions. This strategy will enable you to better understand how suited the candidate is to the position by assessing their response to challenge, problem solving and stress.

6. Promote the Company. The interview is also an opportune time to promote the position and company, especially if the candidate seems promising. Most interviewers forget that the process is designed to be reciprocal in nature.

7. Ask Good Questions. In an attempt to better understand your candidate, it can be easy to wander into a line of questioning that is legally problematic. Knowing how to interview a candidate means knowing what not to ask. Keep the questions focused on professional topics.

Top Take-Away: You can’t build a great department or company without a great team. Learn to hire well. It’s a skill you can learn. Successful entrepreneurs cite their recruiting and hiring ability as the number one attribute to their success.

More food for thought on successful tactics for interviewers and candidates:

Things You Can’t Teach: Critical to Successful Hiring

Strategies of Effective Interviewing

10 Killer Interview Tactics You Ought to Know

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