96 Great Interview Questions to Ask Before You Hire

 96 Great Interview Questions to Ask Before You Hire

Author: Paul Falcone
Pub Date: March 2018
Print Edition: $19.95
Print ISBN: 9780814439159
Page Count: 368
Format: Paper or Softback
Edition: Third Edition
e-Book ISBN: 9780814439166

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Introduction: The Challenges and Rewards of Becoming a More Dynamic Interviewer and Hiring Manager

It sure can be difficult and confusing to hire. It takes a lot of time, and it probably makes you—the hiring manager—feel like you have to choose without having all the information you need to come to an informed decision. After all, candidates are often known to behave one way during an interview, only to perform in a totally different manner once they settle into their roles. The hiring process itself can seem scattered: Interview rounds, testing, reference checks, and background checks sure seem to take a long time and still don’t guarantee an overall fit with your department culture or with the rest of your team. If these concerns have plagued you in the past, you’re not alone. But the good news is that effective interviewing and hiring is a leadership muscle that you can begin to strengthen immediately. And once you develop confidence in your ability to approach the hiring process with a fresh sense of excitement and optimism and become known for hiring excellent contributors, your career can skyrocket.

After all, hiring top talent is where it all begins. Hire the right team members who know how to motivate themselves, hold themselves accountable for results, and demonstrate an achievement mentality in all they do, and your role as manager becomes so much easier. That’s because strong performers tend to manage themselves. They share information openly, express appreciation and gratitude for the opportunity your company provides, and demonstrate an inner competitiveness to excel. Your role becomes more of a mentor and coach rather than a unilateral decision maker and disciplinarian. They thrive and find traction in their careers, and you have the opportunity to practice selfless leadership by helping them build achievement bullets on their résumés and LinkedIn profiles. The work relationship truly becomes win-win-win: As a supervisor, you thrive in developing a reputation as a solid people leader and hiring manager; your people benefit from having a supportive yet fairly hands-off boss who allows them to find new ways of contributing to your organization while building their careers; and the organization benefits from having a team that demonstrates a healthy balance of achievement, ongoing contributions, and a general sense of employee satisfaction and engagement. In short, you’ll experience little or no drama, a heightened sense of awareness in terms of having each other’s backs and supporting one another, and an achievement mentality that stems from a healthy sense of competition that spurs others to success.

All it takes is a change to your sponsoring thought about what leadership is and how hiring is critical to leadership success. As the saying goes, change your perspective and you’ll change your perception. In other words, change your approach right now to the importance of growing and developing strong teams, and you’ll very likely experience management and leadership at a much higher level. Start with the simple premise that it all begins with the people you hire and that there’s a proven way to make high-probability hires—in other words, while there are no guarantees, there’s a structure and approach to hiring that will generate strong contributors almost every time. With the proper hires in place, everything else about effective leadership comes together: open communication, teamwork and camaraderie, and most important, accountability and productivity. It’s amazing how much easier leading becomes when you hire the right people up front: Performance management, leadership development, ethics and conduct adherence, and succession planning all fall neatly into place. It all starts with hiring the right people at the right time for the right roles. This book is designed to help you build your hiring program; get this right, and this portable skill will reap ongoing benefits throughout the rest of your career.

After all, human capital is your company’s primary profit lever in a knowledge-based economy. Talent has become the emerging single, sustainable, competitive advantage that any company possesses. And it all starts with effective interviewing and hiring. Talent acquisition is a leadership muscle that can be strengthened and developed over time. Become effective at attracting and hiring strong talent, and your life as a leader in corporate America begins to soar. After all, when you hire people who excel in their careers, possess the skills, knowledge, and abilities to hit the ground running, and demonstrate emotional intelligence, half the battle is won. They’ll know how to communicate proactively so you never feel like you’re flying blindly, they’ll motivate themselves in light of your department’s changing needs, and they’ll hold themselves accountable for concrete results because that’s simply how they’re built and how they define themselves.

Make one poor hire, in comparison, and you may be faced with someone who suffers from a victim mentality, an inappropriate sense of entitlement, or a poor work ethic. In short, you could end up spending way too much of your time addressing substandard performance and conduct challenges rather than building your department with the help of the new hire’s talent and contributions. Every exceptional leader knows that it’s better and more effective to manage people's strengths rather than accommodate their weaknesses. But if you rush too quickly into a new hire relationship, lack the self-discipline to interview thoroughly, or fail to get to know the individual through the eyes of former supervisors during the reference-checking process, you’ll have the equivalent of a loose cannon on the deck of your ship.

What typically goes wrong in most hiring situations? Interviewers haven’t defined the three or four key criteria they’re looking for in their next hire, and they haven’t built a strategic interview questioning process to ferret out those qualities. Managers often argue that they don’t have the time to review résumés or conduct thorough interviews because they’re so busy and understaffed, but think about it: If you don’t dedicate the necessary time and energy to hire outstanding talent, then you’ll only be perpetuating the problem. After all, the last thing you need on top of all the time it takes to train someone and bring them up to speed is a new hire with a poor attitude, a lackluster work ethic, or a penchant for needing time off (think worker’s compensation and intermittent Family and Medical Leave Act time) when the going gets tough and the stakes are highest.

Now’s the time to master the art of effective hiring, knowing that it will pay dividends for the rest of your career. Understand that becoming known as someone who hires great people is a learnable and portable skill: Once you get it right, once you understand how all the pieces of the hiring and onboarding puzzle come together to create high-probability hires, you’ll have a key advantage that helps you stand out as a rarity among your peers. But you have to arm yourself with the right questions and the right strategy first to lead an interview effectively.

Excerpted from 96 GREAT INTERVIEW QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE YOU HIRE, Third Edition by Paul Falcone. Copyright © 2018 Paul Falcone. Published by AMACOM Books, a division of American Management Association, New York, NY. Used with permission.

All rights reserved. http://www.amacombooks.org.

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