When interviewing potential clients, it is important to start with a few questions:
- What qualities do you want this employee need to have? (Behaviors)
- What are the essential qualifications for the position? (Skills, degrees, experience)
- Where are you going to find this person, or how are they going to find you? (Job Sites: Monster, Indeed etc., Career fairs, Craigslist)
Start with a job description
Do research from other companies posting job descriptions online if you don’t already have one developed. Use the job description to craft questions about past experience, education, and skills used. If details like degree, certifications, or years of industry experience don’t match don’t waste your time or theirs. Depending on how they will be working within your organization, you may:
- Ask them to give you examples of how they have worked on teams in the past
- Ask them how they have resolved conflict
- Ask how they feel about working with people they dislike personally, or taking orders from someone they don’t respect.
- Ask them for examples of self motivation in the past
- Ask about how they hold themselves accountable
- Ask about examples of meeting deadlines
First impressions are not the end all or be all
People judge you based on two important factors when meeting you (especially in professional situations)
- Can I trust you? (Warmth)
- Can I respect you? (Competence)
Most people assume that Competence is the more important factor in professional situations because they want to prove they are smart, and talented enough to handle your business. In reality, your warmth, and subsequently your ability to build trust with others, is much more important.
“A warm, trustworthy person who is also strong elicits admiration, but only after you’ve established trust does your strength become a gift rather than a threat.” – Amy Cuddy
Smile, keep eye contact and be friendly. Smiling lets people know you are friendly and approachable. This is a big point to building your “Warmth” factor with others, then start a conversation. People will open up to you more if you are willing to engage them in conversation. Being prepared to talk about certain things, especially things you know about, will make you feel more confident and come across as knowledgeable without sounding like a know-it-all.
Finally, remember names by trying different ways to help yourself do it, such as repeating several times in the conversation. Always be an engaged listener and you will help the other person feel heard and good, plus, you will get the most genuine responses from them, and likely, determine the best candidate.