Too many managers hire based on their “gut feelings” or on interviews in which the hiring manager has talked more than the candidate for hire, says John Featherstone, author of “Start Hiring Winners.”
“Seldom does one learn anything while talking,” Featherstone says. “The purpose of the interview is to gather job-related facts. This requires that the candidate talk about 80 percent of the time.”
Featherstone addresses 24 areas of assessment in which intensive questioning is needed to clearly identify the best people to hire. Here is just a sampling of those areas and related questions:
1. The practice of management
a. Define “management” for me.
b. How would your previous superiors describe your management skills?
c. What is your style of management, and can you share an example of how well it has worked for you?
a. Tell me about a policy you put in place that generated employee resistance.
b. Describe and give examples of your self-confidence.
c. How do you convince people to want to do what needs to be done?
a. How do you assess risk?
b. Describe the circumstances where you had to make a decision before you had sufficient facts.
a. How did you bring about your greatest achievement?
b. How are your previous employers better off as a result of your employment?
a. Is delegation worth the risk? Explain with examples.
b. How do you manage a task delegated to a subordinate?
a. What was the worst decision you made in the last year, and what was the outcome?
7. Ability/desire to learn
a. What periodicals do you currently read?
b. What did you learn from your previous superior?
8. Planning ability
a. Tell me about the best plan you prepared, how you implemented it and the results.
b. How do you decide what elements of a plan to delegate?
9. Ability to organize
a. Help me to understand how job descriptions help employees work better.
b. What data do you collect to measure progress in your area, and how do you use it?
These are just a sampling of the types of questions you need to ask during an interview for a management position. For more information, check out Featherstone’s new book, “Start Hiring Winners,” available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
John Featherstone, author of “Start Hiring Winners,” is a consultant to small business and a former five-year volunteer with SCORE, mentoring and training small-business owners and employees. His business consultations include an eight-year project with a distillery in El Salvador. As a division vice president/general manager for a privately held confectionery company, Featherstone managed a spectacular annual growth rate of 50 percent for seven consecutive years. Featherstone also has owned, operated and sold three small businesses. Over 25 years, he has field-tested and perfected his “Start Hiring Winners” system. Featherstone lives in San Pedro, Calif., near Los Angeles. The book “Start Hiring Winners” is available online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.