We've covered a lot of ground in previous posts, and if you've done your home work, you are ready to interview. Because you have a written job description or key results document, developing questions will be easy. Here are a few tips:
- Ask questions, then shut up. Really. Since we're in sales we are familiar with the talking side of a transaction. In this case, keep your words to a ratio of 80% listening, 20% talking.
- Plan your questions. Write 1 or 2 questions to represent each of your key results. For example, you want someone to schedule inspections and post them on your calendar. Ask the candidate about how they are with time management or past responsibilities in scheduling for others. Focus on finding actual experiences rather than what they would like to do.
- Follow up their answers with, "Tell me more." Really dig in on the qualities that are most important to successfully filling the position.
- Write down key components to the candidates answers. Look for repeated phrases and words. What did you discover about the candidate? Think about it.
- Interview several times. Every one's at their best in the first meeting. Repeated visits to your office for additional interviews, visiting your sales meeting, and interviews with others in your office help you to get a sense of the candidate's normal demeanor and energy level.
Like what you've learned? It's time to make an offer. Write a letter to invite your candidate to take the position. Remember, don't be boring. Inspire them, tell them why you chose them, and what results you expect from the relationship. For darn sure, include the job description and have them sign off on the assignment. Spell out the hours, time off, pay, benefits (in addition to working with you), and all the details you can muster. Clarity here will help build a great working relationship.
You've put a tremendous amount of time and effort into hiring this person. You found the right candidate, and now it's time to reap the rewards ... as soon as you finish training them. Go get 'em and keep growing.