Interviewing candidates to join your small business is an exciting experience. But, it can also be stressful. After all, you will be picking someone you want to work with that is also effective on the job. You need to enter every interview extremely prepared.
Total preparedness goes beyond knowing the person on paper. Sure you can know a lot on the person based on their resume. However, you also need to be able to read into answers, body language, and overall demeanor to make the best assessment of each candidate. Most of the time, having a great working relationship is not solely based on credentials or titles they put on business cards. Their personality also needs to fit into your organizational culture.
According to the latest CareerBuilder survey, “75 percent of employers said they have hired the wrong person for a position, and of those who had a bad hire affect their business in the last year, the wrong candidate costs them nearly $17,000 on average.” That is a lot of money, especially for small businesses.
To help you save that time and money, here are five warning signs you are interviewing the wrong candidate for the job.
1. Inability to Elaborate Answers
Sometimes the answer you get doesn’t really hit the question head on and you need more information. If asked, can the candidate expand on answers easily? They should be able to internalize your questions to answer them fully and completely.
If they can’t go beyond a superficial answer, it shows that they might not be able to think outside the box or act under pressure. These are essential skills for a startup or small business employee and you should definitely test employees for this with your questions.
2. Lack of Engagement
This is kind of a Captain Obvious statement, but it is important for you as the interviewer to tune into subtle, and even not so subtle body language cues. Is the person looking at you in the eyes, smiling, elaborating, and asking relevant questions? Or, are they giving short responses with their arms crossed, looking around the room and unable to focus. If they are doing the latter, they are likely not serious about this position. Save yourself the trouble and end the interview early.
For further reading on how to read body language that could prove useful for job interviews, check out “How to read body language in interviews” from Workable.
3. Inappropriate Clothing
People should do their homework before interviewing at a company and learn about the company culture. If the candidate shows up in a three piece suit to a startup full of jeans and t-shirt wearing folks, it may not be the right fit. The reverse is also true. If a person shows up dressed über casual when the dress code dictates formal business attire, they clearly didn’t do their office culture homework.
See if and how they broach the subject. If they can find an appropriate way to let you know they can see the distinction in dress code, maybe they can adapt accordingly.
4. Hesitation on Compensation
Money is a major motivator but it should not be the only motivator for a potential employee. For startups and small businesses, sometimes incentive plans are more than just money. Small business salaries may be less than they would get in a larger corporation.
If the candidate reacts unenthusiastically or hesitates after you talk about compensation, think twice before pursuing this person. The compensation needs to be a good fit for you and the people you employ. If someone isn’t happy with the compensation, they won’t stick around for long.
5. No Unanimous Agreement
When hiring someone in a small business, it is critical that you include the team they will be working with in some part of the interview process. If they are all going to work together and collaborate, everyone needs to feel like this person will be a good fit.
If one person feels that the candidate is not a good fit, treat that with seriousness and discuss it as a team. Your existing employees need to know that their opinions and feedback matter. Group consensus on a new hire is best for creating a smooth transition for everyone involved.
Taking the time to interview someone thoroughly and thoughtfully will help avoid hiring the wrong candidate. It will save you time and money in the long run. There isn’t a perfect way to interview someone but there are ways to be smart about it.
The less turnover you have in your company, the better trust and rapport you can build with your team and clients. The stronger team you can create full of people who are passionate about your company mission and goals, the more positive interactions they will have with each other as well as clients and customers. This will ultimately make an environment that breeds success.
How do you keep your business from hiring a wrong candidate? Tell us your job interview approach below.