Use these tips to conduct a foolproof interview that will ensure you add a valuable member to your distributorship’s team every time you hire.
In the promotional products industry, many sales professionals double as distributorship owners. Even if they start out as a one-person operation, it’s not uncommon for even the most successful multi-taskers to reach a point where they need to hire at least one staffer. Others are consistently compelled to add employees as sales volume expands.
If you’re at a point where you need to hire, it’s essential that you select the correct person. Bad hires are expensive mistakes, costing employers on average 30% of that person’s annual earnings. With that in mind, here are tips to ensure the best candidate joins your team.
Play Internet Detective: Naturally, the first step is to review the person’s resume to see if they have the requisite qualifications. But in today’s world, that’s not enough. Your next step has to be going online and finding information on candidates. Do searches on would-be employees and see what comes up. Check if you can confirm the representations they made on their resume. View their Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram pages, as well as other social media sites, searching for content that raises red flags.
Stay Honest: Once you decide to interview a candidate, be candid about the requirements of the job, forthrightly discussing both the benefits and perks you’ll offer, as well as the particular challenges of the position. Say you’re hiring an assistant to help handle the details of the sales you process. This person must know that our industry operates at a lightning quick pace, with frequent pressing deadlines. You need someone who can remain calm and collected in that environment.
Make a Full Assessment: Body language, voice tone and the types of questions a candidate does – or does not – ask reveal much about the person. You’re looking for someone who sits up straight, smiles when appropriate, makes eye contact, gives a good handshake – someone who projects a healthy confidence without cockiness. Ideally, you want someone who asks thoughtful questions about the industry and what their job responsibilities will be – a person who is engaged with the interview and excited about the opportunity to join your team. If a candidate shows up late, is laconic, acts fidgety, seems disinterested and only asks about hours and pay, they might not be the employee you want.
Standardize Your Questioning: Having a set of questions that you ask each candidate helps you more clearly and fairly evaluate each person. Sure, you should ask questions based on the job description and the candidate’s resume, but you should also ask questions that afford insight into their personality, ethics and willingness to work hard. For example, ask them why they want to work for your company and additional things like “What was an error you made at your last job and how did you handle it?” and “How would your former colleagues describe you?” Also, throwing in a quirky question that forces candidates to think on the fly can help reveal how they respond to the unexpected. Try: “What would you do if an alien ship landed in your town?”
Be Thorough: Resist the urge to hire hastily. More than 40% of bad hires are the result of employers filling a position too quickly. Therefore, try to conduct multiple interviews with top candidates, evaluating individuals for consistency and seeing if you can gain new insights about them. Also, if you have other staffers already, have them ask candidates questions too. You’re likely to get fresh perspectives that will optimize your chances of hiring the best candidate.
WATCH this video from career site Monster.com for tips on how to conduct an excellent job interview.