Build a Great Team Through Effective Interviewing

When you sit down for an interview with a prospective employee, you hopefully have your set of questions prepared. You have questions that will cover work history, education, 5-year plan and more. Your questions are focused on where your candidate has been and goals as well. While these type of questions are important, it’s important to note that you also need questions  that will give you a true insight into how this candidate will work with a team and in particular, your team.  It’s imperative that you have questions in your interview that will give you insight into how this person has handled situations in the past, as to predict future behavior.

To gain a clear picture of your candidate, make sure to ask open-ended questions, ones that warrant a full description, not just a yes-no answer.  Ask questions that will provide an example of how this candidate reacts in a variety of situations. For example, say you have someone on your team already who is very direct; and maybe a little rough around the edges.  You can ask a question such as, “in the past when you’ve worked with a co-worker who is very straightforward, and doesn’t sugar coat comments, how have you handled that.” These types of questions are geared to personality compatibility.

A great team involves personality compatibility, but also having complementary skills. This is where your skill assessment during the interview comes into play. Maybe the role you are hiring for will be one where this new person will be a support to a lead person in your group. You need to find someone, at this point, who is ok with not taking the lead but providing support. To assess this you can ask a question such as, “In the past, have you had to take the back seat on a project when you knew you were able to take the lead? Were you comfortable and satisfied doing that?” Again, assessing how the person will fit in with your group.

In looking at your current team and the team you are building, you want to make sure you assess the specifics of what you need to grow your team in the right direction. Consider who you have on your team, and what addition would bring that team to the next level. Then craft your questions to evaluate those areas, so you choose the very best for you, your team, and the company.

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