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Easing the Interview Process for New Managers  
9/19/2011 3:50:19 PM

September 19, 2011
By Theo Gilbert-Jamison, CEO of Performance Solutions by Design

With becoming a new manager comes a lot of responsibility. You need to know or learn how to effectively lead, motivate, engage, and coach your team to drive stellar performance. Most important, in growing your team you must be skilled in bringing in new employees who will enhance the team's productivity, not diminish it.

To ease the pain of interviewing for the first time, here are my top seven tips:

1. Create pre-written, structured interview questions. Nothing says prepared like having 6-8 solid interview questions that will help determine if the candidate you are interviewing will be the right fit for your team and organization. Be careful not to ask questions that are legally impermissible, because it could get your company slapped with a charge of discrimination. Make sure your questions pertain directly to the job opening for which the candidate is interviewing.

2. Review the candidate's resume and/or applicant in advance. To make a good impression, be prepared so you don't appear to be flustered during the interview. If you are disorganized throughout the interview, the candidate will perceive the entire organization in the same manner.

3. Make the candidate feel at ease. At the beginning of the interview, greet the candidate with a warm welcome, giving your name and position. Small talk is great, but again be certain not to engage in conversation that may take on a personal nature - keep it strictly professional and pertaining to the job opening and company they are applying with.

4. Apply the 70/30 Interview Rule. This means you LISTEN 70% of the time, and talk only 30% of the time -- allowing the candidate to do most of the talking. This is also where solid pre-written questions that require more than a "yes" or "no" response come into play. Ask questions in a way that warrants detailed, specific answers from your interviewee. Remember, the more you talk, the more apt you are to give them the answers to all of your questions - and you will never really get to know them.

5. Maintain professionalism throughout the interview. Make positive eye contact, give the candidate a firm handshake, don't use slang or industry jargon that the candidate may not understand, dress appropriately - remember, first impressions are lasting. Most of all, be friendly but do not crack jokes - because what is amusing, funny, or humorous to you may be considered obnoxious to someone else.

6. Give a detailed explanation of the job they are applying for. This will ensure that the candidate is clear about the job tasks, expectations, schedule, and pay. The last thing you want is for the candidate to get hired having a different interpretation of what the job entails, then suddenly quit because they were unclear about some aspect of the job.

7. End the interview on a positive note. Advise the candidate of the next step in the interview process, whether or not an additional interview, competency/skills test, background check, and/or drug screening will also be part of the process. And most of all, thank them for making time to meet with you.

Bottom-line, a good interview will guarantee that you select the right candidates to fill job openings within your team. Do not take the responsibility of recruitment and interviewing lightly; if you feel you need additional training or coaching, seek the expertise of your HR representative or a seasoned leader within your organization.

About the Author

Theo Gilbert-Jamison is CEO of Performance Solutions by Design; a global performance consulting firm that caters to luxury and premium brands with an emphasis on transforming organizational culture. She is also the author of two books, The Six Principles of Service Excellence, and The Leadership Book of Numbers (Vol. I). As the creative force behind the innovative concepts and methodologies utilized by Performance Solutions by Design, Theo is a highly sought after speaker and consultant to CEOs and senior executives in high profile organizations. For more information visit her website www.psbydesign.com or you can reach her by email tjamison@psbydesign.com.

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