Q. When I became a manager, nobody ever really told me how to interview somebody. Are there any tips or tricks you can give me?
A. If you're working with AppleOne, then your Account Executive will already have worked with you to determine the skills and traits you're looking for. Each person that is sent for you to consider should already be a match for that, so you're able to relax and just get to know the person and develop an idea of how they would fit in with the team you're looking to add them to. If for some reason you're attempting to hire yourself, then you'll need to do a lot of that groundwork yourself.
The first step is to determine what traits are important to you for a given position. For some positions, enthusiasm or attention to detail may be important. For others, especially roles that are highly technical in nature, you may want to make sure that they have the specific skills or experience that they claim. Of course every job requires specific skills and behavioral traits, but you'll probably find that some of those are more important than others.
You can develop a sense of this over time as various people move in and out of positions. If you're fairly new, it is a good idea to have a casual conversation with others in the department at the peer and managerial levels to get a sense of who excelled and who lagged in the position you're attempting to hire for. Your goal is to discover the specific traits that resulted in that performance so you can seek it out or avoid it as the case may be.
Of course you'll be looking for those traits in the pre-screening process, but sometimes people present themselves differently in person, and the point of the interview is to try to get to know the person and try to develop a sense of how you expect that they'll perform. Be sure to trust your instincts in the process.
For more tips, see our Five Steps to Better Interviews article in this newsletter.