The Mindset of an Interview
Written by Chukwuma Asala for Gaebler Ventures
The process of growing your organization is a filtering process and it all starts with the interview. This sets the tone for the rest of that person's career with your company.
Learning good interview skills is not an impossible task.
Whether you have only experienced an interview from the standpoint of someone looking to be employed, or you've only given a couple of interviews yourself, knowing and understanding what you are trying to accomplish is paramount if you want to have a successful interview.
Before every interview make sure you remind yourself of a few things to keep your attitude in the right place and ensure that the person feels comfortable when they are with you. Here are just a few of them for entrepreneurs who are starting to put a team together.
Don't sell your company, sell yourself
The first contact a person usually has with your company is with your website, a recruiter, an advertisement in the newspaper, etc. Not with you. So remember that when they meet you for the first time, they may be coming for an interview, but they are certainly evaluating you too. Try not to focus too much on your company, especially if it is still relatively small or a startup. At that point there may not be too many selling points with regards to revenues, profits, growth, expansion, or competitiveness.
The most important and only thing you need to sell is you. People will buy into you before they buy into whatever it is your company is doing. If they have a good feeling about you they will have a good feeling about your company. Talk about some of your values, why you got into business, how you got to where you are today, what your passions are, etc. Your vision for your company is way more important than the financial state of it. Financials will change, but a vision will not.
Identify the person's hot button
On the list of things that motivate people with regards to employment, most people are surprised to find that money is closer to the bottom of the list than the top. Things like recognition, positive people, work environment, time off, shorter work days are just some of the things that make up a company's culture. Do not be quick to assume that the person you are interviewing is motivated by money. It might be, but it is much safer to ask them what they regard as a must have at the place they work. If it is good compensation then make sure you talk about your compensation packages. If they talk about work-life balance then highlight some of the ways your company helps employees by issuing mandatory half-days every other week. The bottom line is you have to ask them what their primary motivator is in order to really strike where it matters the most to them. And of course be genuine. If your company is struggling in a particular area that they feel is important, tell them. Honesty always works wonderfully when all else fails and you will be surprised by the response you get.
Have a profile of the person you are looking to hire
If you do not know what you are looking for, the interview will not have a good foundation to build from and the prospect will not know what the expectations are. It is important you have spent time thinking about the type of person you would want to have in that particular position. There are aspects of your company culture that you know will fit well with certain types of people. Feel confident talking about these things with the person being interviewed.
Chukwuma Asala is an international student from Nigeria who is studying to earn an MBA from the State University of New York in Albany. He has analyzed more than 20 industry case studies throughout his education thus far, and hopes to bring some of his business knowledge to Gaebler.com.
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