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The Champion Forum Podcast

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TCFP140: THE BEST INTERVIEW QUESTION

Thank you for tuning in to the Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! Having a great team can almost guarantee you success, but how do you ensure that you are hiring the best leaders? Most interview questions allow candidates to use their natural charisma to fake their way through the questions. In this episode, you will learn how to craft your interview questions so that you get past the fluff and discover who your candidates are at their core.

Typical Interview questions look like this:

“Are you a hard worker?”

“What are you like as an employee?”

“You’re trustworthy, right?”

Unfortunately, those questions allow candidates to respond with their values and principles rather than who they really are at work. If you don’t have a way of guaranteeing that there is substance you will hire someone who creates a good impression but realize weeks later that you didn’t hire someone who could actually do the job. If you are not sure if you are asking good interview questions, look at your one-year turnover. If it is high, you may need to work on your hiring process! It takes hours to learn how to become a master interviewer, but you can improve your questions by following the STAR formula.

Q: How would you rate your interview process on a scale of 1-10? Why? Do you usually hire quickly to fill a spot, or do you take your time to find the right candidate? What results have you seen with that approach?

The STAR Formula

In this formula, you ask about a Situation or a Task that prompted your interviewee to take Action and led to a specific Result. Essentially, these questions require people to draw from their experience, not their fluff.

Situation or Task - You first want your candidate to identify a time that they were faced with a problem. This could be a customer complaint or a group project. The question should start with something like, “Tell me about a time when you…”

Action - Now, you want to discover what action your candidate took. Look for them to stop saying “we” and to start saying “I.” Remember that you are hiring them, not their boss or coworker.

Results - Finally, you want to see the impact that their actions had. Did they achieve the desired result?

Q: Have you ever been asked a question like this in your job interviews? How did you respond? Did you find the question easy or challenging? Why?

Watch out for “The False Star”

When you ask the false star a specific question, they will not give you a straight answer. Instead, they will talk about the principles of the situation and highlight their principles. If you realize you are interviewing a false star, get out of the interview as quickly as possible. You do not want to hire them because you were desperate and they gave a great first impression. You have to keep interviewing candidates until you find a person of substance and follow through.

Q: Have you ever come across a false star in the interview process? What other signs did you see? What tipped you off? How did you respond?

Application Activities:

  1. Take a look at the questions you ask during your interviews. Do you have questions that use the STAR method? Conduct an audit of your hiring questions and ask yourself whether every question helps you understand who a potential hire is at their core.

  2. Role-play scenarios with your team and hiring managers. Use your current interview questions, and then use your revised list of questions. Did you get a different impression of your “interviewee” in each scenario? If so, this is a good clue that you need to ask different questions. Use your team to help brainstorm questions for each position based on the real scenarios that they face in their positions.

  3. Feeling overwhelmed by the hiring process? Consider hiring someone to come in and conduct a thorough review of your hiring process and train you and your team on asking great questions. My team offers a comprehensive review that will ensure your team reduces your year one turnover and improves the quality of your hires. You can contact me to get an initial consultation at jeff@jeffhancher.com

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