top of page

How to Conduct an Interview: The Short and Sweet

Updated: Jan 14, 2019

Growing your business is tough, but finding the perfect interview questions does not have to be. Here we will go over two types of interviews and talk about example interview questions for both. We also go into three different types of interview questions. Some you may know, and others may be new to you. Lastly we talk about my number one pet peeve of interview questions. After reading this, you should feel confident to start your interview process. However, if you need more help then just connect with me.

Pre-Screen Interview

The first type of interview is the phone pre-screen interview. This is a quick 10 to 15 minute interview that is used to narrow down your list of candidates. This can be done by your human resources business partner, business manager, and VA. The questions asked here are to screen out candidates that do not meet your basic needs. This can be a life saver, because you do not want to waist your time (or the candidate’s time) doing an interview on someone that has no shot of getting the job.

As with all interviews, you should write down the questions you are going to ask everyone and come up with an evaluation scale. This could be rating each question 1 to 4. The goal here is to be able to tell a third party the business based reason why you picked one candidate over another. This is important just in case something goes sour and you end up in front of a judge.

Question Examples

  • What interests you about this position?

  • What is your experience with marketing for small business?

  • Are you a certified CPA?

  • What are your salary expectations?

The Big Interview

Now that you have a smaller candidate list, you can do the full interview. There are three types of questions to choose from. You should have questions from each category, and always end by asking the candidate if she has any questions for you.

Competency Based

First there are the questions that most people are familiar with. These are the ones where the candidate talks about all the awesome things she has done. Competency based questions ask about experience in different fields. These questions are good when it is important that the candidate comes with knowledge on how to do specific things. These questions are not good at helping you predict how the candidate will perform in the future and how she may add to your current team.

Question Examples

  • What is your experience with Quickbooks Online?

  • Please describe your work in the financial field with regards to small busine

Behavioral Based

Behavioral based questions take off where the competency based questions leave off. These questions do a better job at helping you predict future behavior. Here the question focuses on a skill or trait that you need and has the candidate relate her behavior to that skill or trait. These are my favorite questions, and I like to use them as most of the questions when I do interviews.

Question Example

  • Describe a time when you had to balance competing priorities. What was the outcome?

Scenario Based

These questions do not focus on what the candidate has done in the past. These questions post a hypothetical situation and then ask the candidate to state how she would respond. I like to end the interview with at least one question like this. Think about a situation that happens often or is vital, and use that as the basis of the question.

Question Example

  • A manager comes to you and states that her employee Isabel has been late everyday for the past two weeks. She has not talked to Isabel yet, and is unsure what to do. How would you respond to the manager?

Now let’s talk about my pet peeve of interview questions. I am sure you have heard about fun and unique questions. I know that the normal questions can be boring and seem to not give the unique vibe of your business. It is great to infuse the vibe of your business in your interview process, but be sure that your interview process is easily defensible if things go sour.

For example, a common question is “What mythical creature would you be?” This question might be fun and start a lively conversation, but how would you explain to a judge that a unicorn is better than a dragon?

90 views0 comments
bottom of page