The most important interview questions no one is asking

Evaluating talent is a daunting task. As a Manager you are expected to judge the talents and life experience of a candidate in the span of an interview, and accurately predict a candidates production for years to come. There is enormous pressure to be right, because an error in hiring will cost thousands.

There are a number of areas to consider when deciding on a candidate. Interviewers assess work experience, problem solving ability, judgement under pressure, and related skills. One of the most meaningful qualities for a potential new team-member is the management style that will make them most successful.

The most overlooked information in interviews is how the candidate will interact with their supervisors’ management styles.

More than any other factor, the Employee / Manager relationship dictates success. The management technique of a department manager can have more control over employee product than talent, skill, or experience. This can be both positive and negative.

You cannot expect your Manager to handle their department differently to make better use of an employee. Hire based on the present conditions of your company, not a hypothetical future. Each of these executive types should be the prism you consider an interviewee through.

  1. Discussion vs Direction – When a task or project comes up, and you have to organize work and process how do you push information to your team? Are you the type of boss that decides on a path and then directs the team to their responsibility, or do you like to have dialogue first? Your new hire needs to be able to function in the way you like to tackle tasks. So do not hire an employee that wants to have a discussion about every task, when you use direction to manage.
  2. Micro vs Macro – Are you a person that goes to a magic show and doesn’t feel right until you know exactly how every trick was done? If so you are probably a micro-manager. This has gotten a negative connotation, but managing the small stuff can be very helpful to a business. Have conversation during the interview about how much oversight a potential hire likes. We interview thousands of people a month, and many say they feel more confident knowing the Manager is on top of everything they do. The most important thing is making sure your new team-member won’t be spending all their time figuring out how to get you to pay more or less attention to their work.
  3. Trainer vs Evaluator – Much of a Supervisors time is spent on improving employee performance, and there is are two ways to go about making the people around you better. One is a down in the trenches approach. This is the trainer, a manager that makes employee better by demonstrating. Other managers want to have a degree of separation. This creates a more objective point of view and allow a supervisor to see possible improvements the Trainer may not. Is your candidate the one that complained at a prior job that the Manager wasn’t on the ground and didn’t understand? Then they probably need to work with a Trainer. If the interviewee says they never felt like they got enough feedback from their prior employer, then they work better with an Evaluator.

Identifying the management style that works best with an employee could be the single largest factor in determining success or failure. Happy hunting for your next best employee!

If you want help formulating questions or want to talk more in-depth about creating an evaluation formula for your business inbox me. We are always happy to help!

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