How to interview candidates for your small business

September 3rd, 2014

Hiring employees can be an exciting but challenging prospect for any small business owner. The signs of your company's growth are clear as you take on more staff to drive further expansion. However, how do you ensure you are selecting the right talent for your business?

Staff are among the most crucial investments for any organisation, and small business owners need to ensure they're making the right hiring choices. At the interview stage, it's important to remember that it's a two-way process - the candidate should learn as much about your company as you do about them.

Here are some tips to ensure your interviews are as productive as possible.

Assess their fit with the culture

For a small business still in its early stages, it's not always about finding the most technically skilled talent in the market. Your first hires should be a perfect match with your business's culture - are they in tune with its values and goals, and do they share the same hunger and drive for growth and success?

Spend some time in the interview asking some open-ended questions on a variety of topics to gauge what makes them tick, and how well they will fit within your company.

Not just skill, but also personality

While essential skills can be taught on the job, intrinsic personality and character can't. Personality is becoming an increasingly important metric for hiring managers, as it can determine how well a candidate will get along with the team you already have.

Make sure to keep the interview fairly conversational to assess their interpersonal skills, and how they let their character shine through when interacting with others.

Ask for specifics

While personality and charisma are indeed important, you still need to gauge how good a candidate will be with their actual work. You want your investment to be bringing value to your company, and they need to justify your faith in them.

Don't be afraid to ask for specifics - for example, sales figures, accomplishments and milestones - from their previous jobs to get a feel for how effective they'll be on the in the role.

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