Many times, small business owners and leaders find themselves in a position to have to hire employees. They may have had experience, or it may be completely new to them. In either situation it helps to have a guide or system that provides consistency. In today’s blog I am highlighting some key areas to consider from where to find the right candidate through practice techniques to become a better interviewer.

Find the candidate

  • Your network – one of the benefits of having a network is to help each other. When looking for a new hire, ask your network if they have any recommendations. Ask them to pass the word along to their network. Encourage them to share a job posting for you. Remember, they are putting their name on the line when they recommend someone.
  • Current employees – have them spread the word through their network. Excellent employees tend to attract excellent employees and there is no better referral system.
  • Family recommendations – reach out to extended family and let them know that you are hiring.
  • Social media – use all channels to get the word out. Be specific and REALISTIC with the role qualifications.
  • Let them find you – build a great culture and they will find you. Culture building starts on day one, even if you are the only person in your business. Your clients will experience the culture that you are building and come hiring time, they will be advocates for your business. As you add to your team, hire people that align with your core values, and treat them fairly.

Screening Process

  • Is the candidate qualified for the job? You are the one looking to hire, and you are the one that knows the skills necessary to fill the position. Are the skills necessary from day one or are they something that can be learned over time? Is it a position that will grow over time and is that something that the candidate wants to do?
  • Does the resume match the candidate? Resumes are a piece of paper that reflect past accomplishments. Is the candidate answering screening questions with the same quiet or robust tone that the resume might indicate?
  • Has the candidate followed directions? Could be a request as simple as asking for a resume with a cover letter and only receiving a resume. Directions are provided for a reason and for all candidates to follow.

Preparation for the interview

  • Prepare agenda
  • Google candidate – doing this will allow you to learn more about the candidate and compare this information with their resume.
  • Have role specific questions prepared

Interview Environment

  • Welcoming – candidate and interviewer should be comfortable for the duration of the interview. This includes proper lighting, room temperature, and maybe even some water to drink.
  • Private, free of distractions – interviewing should be done in an area away from the everyday hustle.
  • Eye contact – especially important for both the candidate and interviewer.


  • Handshake? When appropriate.
  • Your name, role, something about you – announce your name and role clearly and how you would like to be addressed. State something simple like what you do in your role, or how long you have been with the company. Purpose is to put the candidate at ease.
  • Quick summary of what is about to happen – use the agenda you prepared ahead of time.
  • Allow candidate to introduce his/her-self – once this is done, welcome them using their name.

Behavioral questions

STAR method

  • Specific situation.
  • Task.
  • Action.
  • Result.

Video Interviews

  • Ask permission to record.
  • Be mindful of your background – do not have a whiteboard or mirror behind you showing confidential information like passwords.
  • Patience

Organization or Flow

  • Guide the interview so both sides can uncover necessary facts and skills to perform the role properly.
  • Conversation vs interrogation – keep the questions open-ended, not yes or no.
  • Do not sound scripted – again, think conversation.

Time management

  • Start and end as scheduled and remember, rapport takes time, plan accordingly.
  • Silence is not always bad – it is better for both sides to take time to process answers when necessary.
  • Listen to understand – sounds simple but too often interviewers are already thinking about their next question.
  • Scorecard – all candidates should be asked and rated on answers to a predetermined number of role specific questions.

Data analysis – separate objective & subjective

  • Objective – words vs answers, body language – listen to the words that answer the question but also be sure the words and body language are aligned.
  • Subjective – feelings and attitudes
  • References – get and check references always!

Next steps

  • Both parties leave knowing what comes next.
  • Do not ghost people.

Things to consider

  • Will the interviewer manage the new hire?
  • Halo effect – I like chocolate, they like chocolate, they will be a perfect fit. Ask the questions, utilize a scorecard, and hire the best candidate based on the outcome.
  • Looking for perfection – don’t! Look for skills that are necessary to perform the job, core values alignment, and an attitude to improve.
  • Why would a candidate want to work for you?
  • Should there be two interviewers in the room.


  • Role play and get feedback.
  • Record yourself and review – make changes accordingly.
  • Act in front of a mirror.

Hiring a new employee can be overwhelming if you do not have a system to follow for consistency. The time to plan and hire is before you need them. Be proactive with your hiring process and when the time is right, I hope this guide helps make it easier to hire the right candidate for the role.

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About Bill McDevitt

Hi! I’m Bill, a small business coach and founder of Top of the World Coaching. No matter what stage your company is currently in, I want to help you grow and develop as an entrepreneur, franchise owner, or business executive.

I’m passionate about helping business owners and executives succeed. I am skilled at coaching business development, growth, and profitability to all levels of entrepreneurs and executives.

Whether you’re a seasoned executive or a budding entrepreneur, I can help you attain your goals by implementing a strategy that works. Your success is my success. Let’s work together to develop a strategy that will improve your company’s ROI. This will let you spend more time focusing on developing your business instead of working inside your business.

If you want to reach out to Bill McDevitt (Field 1 Post Trusted Sales Partner), please contact him by clicking here.

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