How would you describe your work ethic? Who is someone you admire in the profession?
If you work for an organization that gives you some of the responsibility for selecting employees, you have probably asked questions like these to identify the best job candidates. But what really are the best questions to ask in an interview?
First, before you even begin to ask questions, it's important to note that your interview will be more successful if you put the applicant (and yourself) at ease. Begin by introducing yourself and using the other person's name right away and continue using it during the conversation. Second, make sure that you phrase questions so that they will give you the information that you need. Third, listen carefully by ensuring that there are no interruptions from visits or the telephone. Lastly, write down your observations promptly after the interview while the conversation is still clear in your mind.
To help give you some ideas for the next time you're screening candidates, here is a checklist of 12 of the best interview questions from our book, Effective Supervisory: Better Results Through Teamwork, 5th Edition.
Quick tip: Avoid questions that can be answered by yes or no, such as "Have you ever done this kind of work before?" "Do you think you can do this job?" The chances are that you will get a quick yes in reply. Ask open-ended questions instead: "What skills do you have that would make you the right person for this job?"
Want to learn more about selecting employees and effective supervisory practices? Register for the webinar series, Effective Supervisory Practices. Designed as a primer for new supervisors, this six-part series is a must for any jurisdiction looking to lead change, improve customer service, or strengthen communication between supervisors and staff.
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