Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Venture Accelerator | Are you ready to grow? | 5 ways to conduct an interview...

We've all been on the other side of the table, legs shaking and palms clammy, when being interviewed for a prospective role. But what about being the interviewer. Asking the right questions, and getting the right answers is just as important as answering them correctly.

Here are The Women's Organisations top 5 tips to conducting a great interview:

1. Make them feel comfortable - Offer them a drink, ask them where they would like to sit, if they are comfortable enough? It's important that the candidate feels relaxed and in turn will be able to answer the questions in the best possible way. No one wants to be sitting in a freezing cold room, on an uncomfortable chair, when they are already nervous or anxious!

2. Have a plan - One of the biggest mistakes interviewers make, is going into an interview without a plan. Know the questions you have to ask. An interview format in which all job candidates are asked the same specific questions, ensures that the information you can obtain is relevant, this eradicates all irrelevant content and makes comparing responses simple. BUT be prepared to be flexible. If the candidate doesn't provide enough information, interviewers that simply move onto the next questions, without leaving room for follow-up questions, will not collect enough information. 

3. Sell the job - Make your company, you, and the position that you are wanting to be filled, sound exciting! Even if there are tough parts to the day to day running of the business, or boring times, this isn't what the candidate needs to hear now. Although you want to be honest, and realistic, make sure to highlight the great parts of working for the business. BUT be sure to do this after you've let the applicants answer your interview questions. If you tell the applicants all the information and what you're looking for first, then adapting their answers is easier for them. 

4. Use a variety of questions - You can usually divide questions into five categories, based on the kinds of answers you're trying to elicit:

  • Close ended - Questions that call for a simple answer, often yes or no
  • Open ended - Questions that require thought and oblige the candidate to reveal attitudes or opinions. One type of open ended questions is the behavioral interview question. With a behavioral question, candidates are asked to relate past on-the-job experience to situations they are likely to encounter in the position being discussed
  • Hypothetical - Questions that invite the candidate to resolve an imaginary situation or react to a given situation
  • Leading - Questions asked in such a way that the answer you're looking for is obvious
  • Off the wall - Questions that, on the surface, may seem bizarre but may actually be revealing in the answers they elicit. 
5. Give a response - After the interview is over, and you have decided on the right person for the job, make sure you get in touch with everyone who made the effort to come and be interviewed. 

Are you looking to hire new team members? And expand your business? 

The Women's Organisation are challenging Merseyside women in business to step their business up to the next level through The Venture Accelerator (TVA) programme. Venture Accelerator brings together a dynamic partnership of The Women’s Organisation, Downtown in Business, Agent Marketing and High Performance Consultancy to deliver a highly innovative and effective business growth and business incubation programme, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

The programme is aimed at enterprises that have the potential to grow by bringing innovative products and processes to market, scaling up, and internationalising. The programme is available to SME's across Merseyside and provides funded consultancy to enable businesses to prepare for growth, it runs to June 2015.

If you are thinking about hiring staff check out our guest blog post by our Venture Accelerator partners HPC on "Considerations when taking on staff"

ACAS website also have some useful advice around staffing and a helpline you can call for more support. 

The Women's Organisation are currently offering free business growth consultancy services through Venture Accelerator business growth programme.  Venture Accelerator is open to women in Merseyside who are ready to significantly expand their business.  Advice around all business growth issues, including taking on staff, are offered as part of the programme.  To find out more contact hello@thewo.org.uk

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