George and Mary-Lynn

Interviewing Tips For The First-Time Manager

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Bigg Challenge
Adam just got promoted into his first management position. He has a position that needs to be filled. He would like some tips on interviewing so he makes a good hiring decision.

Bigg Advice – 4 Tips For Interviewers

#1 – Set the tone upfront.
Create an environment that will put your candidate at ease. Start off the interview by saying something like …

“I just want to chat with you today so we get to know each other better. I have some questions for you. But I also want to answer all your questions, so you know if this is the right job for you.”

#2 – Remain neutral throughout the interview.
Novice interviewers often make the mistake of making leading questions or statements. For example, let’s say you’re interviewing someone who tells you that he left his previous job because he couldn’t make it to work by 8 AM every day.

You should NOT respond, “That’s not a very good reason for leaving a job, is it?”

Because if you do, your candidate will edit his answers from that point on. You won’t uncover the real person.

Another thing you don’t want to do is sell the candidate on the job UNTIL you know you want to offer it to them. You want to explain, not sell, throughout most of the interview.

#3 – Find out what the candidate DID do rather than what the candidate WOULD do.
It’s easy to give hypothetical answers. But you’re not learning about the candidate’s ACTIONS; you’re learning about his or her INTENTIONS. It’s easy to make New Year’s resolutions. It’s much harder to keep them.

#4 – Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up.
Ask a question. Listen attentively. Then follow-up. Keep drilling down to learn all you can about the real person underneath the candidate.

A sample portion of an interview
On the show, George played the role of an interviewer and Mary-Lynn played the part of the interviewee to illustrate some of these concepts.

George: Why are you thinking about leaving your current job?

Mary-Lynn: I’m looking for a more positive environment.

George: A more positive environment?

Mary-Lynn: Yeah, where people want to work together and help each other be more productive.

George: And that doesn’t happen where you work now?

Mary-Lynn: No, there’s a lot of office politicking there.

George: Could you give me an example of that?

Mary-Lynn: My boss has a few favorite people. They get all the cushy assignments. All the rest of us get the leftovers.

George:
So what have you done to try to resolve that?

At this point, Mary-Lynn may describe exactly what she did. Or maybe she didn’t do anything – leaving is her answer. Isn’t it good to know she solves problems by running from them?

She may say something more about her supervisor. As you inquire about other supervisors, you may find that she has never had a supervisor she liked. If you hire her, you’ll be the next supervisor she can’t work for!

Notice that George never commented, positively or negatively, about anything. And he kept following up to learn exactly what Mary-Lynn meant.

He asked four follow-up questions – that’s what it took to learn something significant about Mary-Lynn in this role playing exercise. That’s the way it works – you have to keep following up until you’re satisfied.

Thanks, Adam for sharing your bigg challenge with us. We wish you bigg success!

Are you facing a bigg challenge? E-mail it to us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com

Our bigg quote today is by an unknown author:

“If you think hiring professionals is expensive, try hiring amateurs.”

So take the time to hire right so you don’t waste time on the wrong hire.

Next time, we’ll discuss some simple tips to get rid of clutter and save an hour a day. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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3 Responses to Interviewing Tips For The First-Time Manager

  1. Interviewing Tips For The First-Time Manager…

    How to get the information you need to make a good hiring decision….

  2. Marie says:

    I am a seasoned manager and still found these suggestions to be useful! I will pass this along to my management team.

  3. Marie, happy “digging” and thanks for sharing!

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