Build A Strong Organization With An Interview Plan – Rea CPA

Build A Strong Organization With An Interview Plan

Are You Hiring The Right People?

In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins writes, “Those who build great organizations understand that the ultimate throttle on growth for any great organization is not markets, or technology, or competition, or products. It is one thing above all others: the ability to get and keep enough of the right people.”

Before you begin interviewing for your next job opening, ask yourself the following four questions:

1. What kind of person(s) do we want to hire?

Think through this question before you actually start the recruiting process to gain better insight into the type of person you’re looking for to fill your open position. Once you have your ideal candidate in mind, you’ll have better understanding what you need to do to go out and find this individual.

Consider your current star employees. What specific competencies do they demonstrate that you want to duplicate? Then, take at the job description that has already been drawn up for the open position and reshape it to include the competencies you’d like to duplicate.

Additionally, think about the personal characteristics that are needed to perform the job functions well? Are you looking for an extrovert? Someone with a keen eye for detail? An experienced team player? There are several tools available today that can provide you with reliable information about a candidate’s natural personal characteristics, which will help you determine if they truly are the right fit for your company.


Read Also: Making A Great Catch


2. What questions can we ask the candidate to learn the most about him or her?

Do you take the time to prepare questions beforehand? Questions are essential tools of the interview process and should be strategically designed to help you gather as much information as possible from the applicant in order to help you make an informed decision. The following are examples of different kinds of questions that can be asked during the interview process.

Open-Ended Questions

“I’m interested in hearing about…”

Closed-ended questions such as, “Can you start Monday?” can be appropriate during an interview. However, open-ended questions clearly solicit more information.

Have several open-ended questions prepped and ready to go. You want your applicants to feel comfortable, so be sure not to rush into the Q&A process. Maybe start with a few easy, close-ended questions to get the conversation started. Then encourage them to talk openly about themselves with a few open-ended questions. Their answers will give you a good indication of their overall strengths and weaknesses.

Past Performance Questions

“Tell me about a time when …”

Past performance questions are important and you’ll have great success with this question if you are able to link the applicant’s performance stories with your identified competencies. Try to determine how the applicant responds under pressure and identify how he or she has performed in the past. This information will be instrumental in your decision-making process.

Be flexible in your questioning techniques and use a variety of question types. For instance, you might consider asking questions that help you determine how the applicant would act in different workplace situations.

Negative-Balance Questions

“Give an example of something you are NOT so proud of.”

Negative-balance questions can help you paint a more complete picture of the applicant and can help you decide whether you’d like to pursue a candidate further.

Question Layering

“Who? What? When? Where? Why?”

Question layering is another good technique to help you determine if a person is the right candidate for the job. Play the role of beat reporter and work to peel an onion by answering basic interview questions.

Mirror Statements

Finally, mirror statements can tell you a lot about the person you are interviewing. To do this, simply paraphrase a key statement your interviewee made, and then listen to how they respond.


Listen to episode 93, “Human Resources 101: Hiring & Retaining Top Talent,” on Rea’s award-winning weekly podcast, unsuitable on Rea Radio, featuring Desiree Lyon.

3. What interviewing styles should we include in our interviewing plan?

Four different interviewing styles should be included in your bag of tricks. Feel free to use one, two or even all four over the course of your interview.

Situational Interview Style

The situational interviewer believes that the closer you can get to a real work situation, the better the evaluation will be. Get applicants to perform some aspect of the job. Give them a chance to show you what they can do.

Personality Profiler Style

The personality profiler asks for descriptors. “What would your co-workers identify as your strengths and weakness?” or “Give me three words to describe yourself.”

Stress Interview Style

The stress interviewer puts the candidate on the spot to determine how they would react under a stress. For example, they might say something like, “We’re not really sure you are suitable for the job,” and will proceed to observe how their demeanor and communication style changes.

Behavioral Interview Style

The behavioral interviewer bases questions on past performance and asks for specific examples of past work accomplishments.

Involving others in the hiring selection will help ensure that you are hiring the right person.

4. How can we increase the chances of a successful hire?

The best way to increase your chances of a successful hire is to get a second opinion. Involving others in the hiring selection will help ensure that you are hiring the right person.

It’s also important that you take notes during each interview and remember to complete your notes immediately after each interview. These notes will become the tools you’ll use during the comparison phase as you are preparing to select your final candidate(s).

Email Rea & Associates to learn more about recruiting and retention strategy, human resources management and more.

By Desiree Lyon (Dublin office)

Looking for more recruiting and retention tips? Check out these other resources:

Are You Failing Your New Employees?

Are Job Descriptions Becoming Obsolete?

Don’t Let Your Competition Win The Battle For Top Talent