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How to Successfully Interview for Staff

May 25, 2011 Posted by

How to Successfully Interview for Staff

How to Successfully Interview for Staff

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How to Successfully Interview for Staff

By: Chris Palumbo
Posted: Oct 10, 2008


Interviewing candidates for employment can be a formal and time-consuming process. However, if you follow the proper steps, you’ll be able to easily weed out people that are unqualified or not right for the position due to time commitment, experience, and knowledge. You will be able to narrow down your prospects to only those candidates that can most benefit your company with their employment.

The Basics

The first step in the interviewing process is narrowing down your pool of candidates. Review their applications and/or resumes to discover who meets the basic requirements specific to each position you are offering. These requirements may be based on presentation, certifications, experience and education.

Once you have selected the most likely applicants based on their resumes/applications, you should invite each one to meet with you for a one-on-one interview. Interviews should be held in a quiet, removed area, away from customers, other employees or the front desk, and preferably at a time when business is light.

Preparing for the interview

· Create a list of questions to ask in advance. Review and rehearse them before the actual interview.

· Ask questions and find out as much information as you can about the candidate regarding their work ability and how they will specifically benefit your company’s staff.

· Ask yourself: What is it that I need to know about this person? Create list of questions that you think will lead to these answers.

· Carefully check the questions to see if the wording is too vague or could be considered offensive.

· It’s a good idea to group important questions at the front of the list, that way if time runs short you will have the most important information already covered. You might even want to group questions into three sections: High Priority, Medium Priority, and Low Priority.

First Impressions

Once a candidate arrives for an interview, ask yourself the following questions:

· Did this person arrive on time?

· Is this person dressed appropriately?

· (If your company is image-oriented) Would I feel good knowing that this person is representing my company?

The Actual Interview

· Questions should be open-ended. Refrain from asking questions that will lead to a yes/no answer. Asking open-ended questions will get the candidate talking. A general rule is that the interviewer should speak 30% and the candidate should be speaking 70% of the time.

· Questions should be as neutral as possible. Avoid wording that might influence answers, i.e., evocative, judgmental wording. Attempt to remain as neutral as possible. That is, don’t show strong emotional reactions to their responses.

· Ask questions one at a time to avoid making the candidate feel like they are “caught in the cross-fire.”

· Questions should be worded clearly.

· Be careful asking “why” questions. These questions may cause respondents to feel defensive, i.e., that they have to justify their response, which may inhibit their responses to this and future questions.

· Encourage responses with positive body language, occasional nods of the head, steady eye contact and short verbal affirmations.

· Take notes, but be careful about your appearance when note-taking. If you jump to take a note, it may appear as if you’re surprised or very pleased about an answer, which may influence answers to future questions. Notes should be made on a blank sheet of paper, not on the actual application or resume.

· Don’t lose control of the interview. This can occur when respondents stray to another topic, take so long to answer a question that times begins to run out, or even begin asking interviewer questions (these should be saved until the end of the interview).

· Each employer will have a unique interviewing style, and it is up to you to choose a format and questions that work for your own personality. If you are comfortable with the interview, this will relax the candidate and you will be more likely to elicit natural, honest answers from them.

Some Sample Questions

· What do you feel you can bring to this company?

· What are your personal goals?

· Tell me about a time you provided excellent customer service.

· Why do you want to work for this company?

· Why did you leave (or why are you leaving) your previous job?

· Tell me about a time you successfully handled a customer’s complaint.

· When were you most satisfied in your job?

· What can you do for us that other candidates can’t (or won’t)?

· What do you feel are your strengths in relation to this position? Your weaknesses?

· What are three positive things your last boss would say about you?

· How would you deal with a customer with a high-strung personality?

Chris Palumbo – About the Author:

Chris Palumbo is the founder and brand director of elements for women, the upscale women’s fitness and lifestyle brand. Visit and Chris’s blog at for expert commentary on industry trends and a rare behind-the-scenes look at a successful brand.



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Article Tags:
elements, elements franchise, business franchise, interview, candidate interview, how to interview, employee interview, corporate tips, economy, financial tips, elements for women, chris palumbo, health ceo, healthceo, womens fitness franchise

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