NP Business Tip: Questions to Ask When Interviewing Your Candidates

Hiring staff is an area where most entrepreneurs feel they could do a better job. Many of us were never really taught how to hire (nor how to release those who were wrongly hired). Making the wrong decision can be costly in terms of time, energy, staff moral, and unemployment taxes assessed on your business.There is a saying to hire fast and fire fast. However, I think you’d do a better job if you hire slow and fire fast.A recent article in the business section was about interview questions to ask candidates you are interviewing for positions. It got me to thinking about the questions we ask, and those that we don’t ask during an interview. I’ve adapted the ones the article suggested and added a few others. Ask yourself how you can you use them in your own business?In what ways will this role help you stretch your professional capabilities?What have been your greatest areas of improvement in your career?What is the toughest feedback you’ve ever experienced and what did you learn from it?What are patients and your coworkers likely to misunderstand about you?What is the biggest mistake you made in your last job? What have you learned from this mistake? In the future, how will you do things differently?If you were giving your co-workers a “user manual” about you, what are three things they would learn about you and your style of working?What do you like best about your work? What do you like least?Everyone has a unique ability, something they love to do, and something they excel at. What is your unique ability?If you were given your ideal working environment, what would it be like? How would the day flow? How would it feel to everyone else who is involved?What are three words that co-workers would use to describe your work ethic?Don’t forget to “test” your candidates as well. I usually describe three or more common scenarios we see in our office and present them to candidates. There is often no right or wrong answer to the questions I ask. It’s just a way for me to “test drive” their problem solving skills.The list of questions for interviewing may seen a bit time consuming but hiring quickly and finding out later that you hired the wrong person will not only cost you time, it will cost you money.© 2010, Barbara C. Phillips, NP. All Rights Reserved.