Interviewing people for a job is something of an art, I think. I guess I interviewed hundreds of job applicants during the years I worked as first a supervisor, then a manager, and later a small business owner. But I recall this morning my approach was slightly crazy.
Of greatest importance to me was whether I thought the applicant would get along with his or her co-workers. Following that, I put a lot of effort into figuring out what strengths he or she would bring to the team. Last, I looked for any disqualifying weaknesses such as drug use. That was the idea. It only got slightly crazy when I applied it.
In order to save time, I conducted my initial interview over the phone. Then I invited the more interesting applicants to come in for a face to face interview. The crazy part was I had everyone of my employees separately interview each applicant who came in. It was cumbersome and time consuming, but I couldn’t think of a much better way to figure out whether the applicant would get along with everyone.
After the applicant had sat down with everyone, I’d send the guy home and call an employee meeting. In the meeting I’d ask such questions as what the guy’s strengths were. Whether everyone was willing to give the guy the time and support needed for him or her to succeed. And a bunch of other questions like those.
I recall that approach produced a work environment in which most everyone got along with each other, in which there was a great deal of team spirit, and in which new people got the support they needed to learn their jobs and succeed.