If you are one of the business looking to hire a new employee right now, you find yourself in an interesting position. In few times past have there been so many people looking for work. Chances are, however, your sign shop isn't their first choice. Or their second... probably not even their third. This means to find the right person for the job you are going to have to sift through the under-qualified, the overqualified, and the desperate who are just looking for something to keep them going in the interim. The interview is your best chance to glean insight that a resume won't give you. Make the most of the interview by asking questions that don't leave room for lies or exaggerations, and give you a glimpse of the person's character.
  1. How about those Steelers (Red Wings, Yankees, er, I mean Rangers, Heat)? Start off by breaking the ice with a conversational question. The goal is to make the interviewee feel comfortable, so if you think they aren't a sports fan, try another light, neutral topic. You want to help them loosen up, which will promote more honest responses.
  2. If I were to call three people who have worked with you up, what do you think they would say about you? This question generally elicits an extremely honest response, as most candidates are afraid you actually will call up former workmates.
  3. What makes you unique? This question usually makes interviewees a little uncomfortable, which at this point in the interview is actually a good thing. A candidate should be able to properly describe his good qualities and value, without excessive self-promotion.
  4. Tell me about a plan that you developed to increase productivity on the job. This is a specific question, which will make it a little tougher to answer, but a lot more difficult to lie about. It also gives you insight into their way of putting a plan into action.
  5. What has been the hardest piece of feedback to receive for you and how did you learn from it? This question lets you see some of the candidate's shortcomings and lets them explain how they have learned from their flaws. Some traditional interviewers like to ask, What are your weaknesses?, which is perhaps one of the least effective things you can ask. Asking this question instead, gives a concrete answer without striking fear in the heart of the interviewee.
  6. If you were to start working here tomorrow, what would be the first thing you would do? If you want to know if the candidate understands the company's mission and values, this is the question to spring. You will also let them show off their ability to take the initiative and see whether they are practical planners.
  7. When have you been most satisfied with your career? Finding out what motivates your employee is crucial, as it will determine how happy he will be working for your company.
  8. Do you have any questions? Truly an oldie, but a goodie, this question lets the interviewee show they were prepared for the interview by asking a couple of solid, inquisitive questions about the company. If the candidate asks what the salary is, likely they are not the kind of person you want to hire.

The best interview results come from asking the best questions, so mix up the way you handle your interviews and finally hire the right person for the job.