In our latest payroll video from Intuit Online Payroll, Rhonda Abrams gives some great tips on how you, as an employer, can best manage the process of interviewing candidates and ensure you’re finding the perfect employee for your organization.
Rhonda Abrams: As a small business owner, you’re going to have to wear many hats. And when it comes time to hiring, especially your first employee, you’re going to have to put on your HR or Human Relations hat, because there’s no one else to help you find, and hire, just the right employee.
As with every other step of the interview process, preparation is key. So how can you conduct an interview that will help you find, and select, just the perfect candidate.
First, plan many of your questions ahead of time. Don’t wait until the job applicant is sitting right in front of you to figure out what to ask. Yes, I know you’re busy, but this is really critical to the future of your business. And be sure to ask open-ended questions, not ones that require a simple yes or no answer. Remember, they’re scared and you need to draw them out.
Try to put the applicants at ease so they’ll be more open with you. Perhaps start your interview with a little getting to know you chatter at the beginning of the interview.
And let them know what’s going to happen. Let them know how long you plan on taking for the interview. If you’re only going to give them 20 to 30 minutes, let them know so they aren’t surprise and think that something’s wrong. Also, let them know when you’ll be making a decision.
Under no circumstances, make promises to an applicant that you can’t keep, such as guaranteed salary commitment or permanent employment. That can later be interpreted as an oral contract and you don’t want to put yourself in that situation.
Most of all, remember, don’t do all the talking. You can’t learn all about them if you’re doing all the talking.
Take a few minutes to learn what you legally cannot ask, such as their marital status, religion, or any questions that would indicate their age. If you have a specific job skill that’s absolutely critical, such as writing or editing or a knowledge of QuickBooks, let’s say, feel free to give an applicant a quick test on those skills. And be sure to leave them time to ask you questions.
Just as job candidates are preparing for their interview with you, you need to prepare for your interview with them.
OK, so to learn what you can and can’t ask in interviews, and how to do a great interview, you can get a copy of my new book, “Hire Your First Employee”, free, compliments of Intuit. Just go to FirstEmployee.Intuit.com.