When you find yourself in hiring mode, whether due to expanding your practice or simply replacing a former staff member, you’re in the driver’s seat. You’re in control, and you know what you want in a job candidate.
Sure, articulating the nuances of the person who’s “right” for the job is often difficult. While the qualifications you seek might be clear in your mind, the way you envision a strong candidate might click with client personalities and company culture certainly can’t be described in a Help Wanted ad. You could try, of course, but chances are you’d do a better job of scaring off – not attracting – many strong candidates.
That’s why we have interviews. And while hosting an engaging and revealing interview takes preparation, experience and perhaps even a level of personal talent, the fact remains that as the interviewee, you’re in the power seat.
Here’s the caveat, a sentiment first uttered by Voltaire (or if you’re of a pop culture persuasion, Spiderman comics): With great power comes great responsibility.
I came across this article posted recently on FINS (a respected career resource site) that takes a look at interviews from the perspective of interviewees. Specifically, it highlights a handful of questions job seekers have encountered during past interview experiences, questions that span the spectrum from “curious” to “offensive.”
Sure, some of the questions listed would certainly leave even the greenest managers/interviewers scratching their heads. But a few of the questions listed are old standards – greatest hits like “What’s your biggest weakness?” and “Where do you see yourself in five years” – that many of us have used at one time or another.
Even some of the trendier, so-called “behavioral” questions even take a few lumps by interviewees who, throughout the article, ask similar versions of their own question, one that’s as blunt as it as painfully obvious: “What’s the point?”
The ego might not take kindly to a question like this, especially when you’re the one in the power seat. But remember, “the point” is what it’s all about during an interview – “the point” being identifying not just a person who can do the job, but someone who can do it increasingly well within the culture you’ve created.
You find these people not by asking cliché questions that are impossible to answer and do little to reveal the real person in front of you. Prompting answers like “My greatest weakness is I work too hard” does little but marginalize the process of hiring – a process that can determine the success or failure of your business or practice.
So when preparing for an interview, consider each question you ask from the perspective of the person in front of you – how it might challenge them in relation to the position for which you’re hiring, and how might it allow them to open up about themselves, their backgrounds, their values and their idiosyncrasies.
Here at Vantage Clinical Solutions, we regularly counsel clients throughout all stages of their hiring processes. We’re happy to coach you on creating effective interviewing questions and strategies. Just drop us a line.