Tag Archive | Temp Staff

Hire Diverse Personalities

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“Diversity” is a crucial word in workforce.  In fact, there are many companies promoting diversity in their policies. Monroe Personnel Service, LLC & Temptime also accepts various people as our employees.  Even in this small office, each person has quite different personality and we often influence each other in good ways for work.  It’s probably easier to hire and manage employees who have the same kind of personality.  Still, the reason that hiring various kinds of people is said important is that there are several benefits of having them in the workplace.  Today, we’ll share the following article to maximize their potential.

The Secret to Successful Hiring and Retention: Embrace Diverse Personalities
by Linda Finkle (Incedo)

No two people are exactly the same. We all have our own traits, attitudes, and capabilities. You may be able to do one thing better than another person, but it doesn’t mean that you are absolutely better—we all have varying strengths and weaknesses. Everyone is unique in his own way. Given this fact, every business must understand this as they go about the process of hiring and retention of their staff.

Working with people of diverse personalities and work habits may be a challenge. A manager must be able to maximize each one’s potential in a way that one person will compliment the other, thus allowing a team to work in harmony. You can never expect everyone in your team to be exactly the same, to work in the same pace, and exhibit identical behavior. Though, you can set your expectations high in terms of work quality, you need to understand that each employee may be better in one area than another and vice versa.

Managers need to look at staff diversity in a positive way and embrace each one’s uniqueness to compliment the entire team. But this does not mean tolerating bad behavior. No. It only means accepting each one’s strengths, weaknesses, and skills and using it to everyone’s advantage. This is a very important consideration in staff hiring and retention rate.

Different Personalities of Employees and How to maximize their Potentials:

  • The helper type. These are staff who are always ready with a helping hand, they enjoy the feeling of being needed and appreciated for their service. Their personality tends to bring out the best in their co-workers. Managers must be generous with kind words of affirmation to keep this type of people in helping others and performing well at work.
  • The creative type. They explore their deepest passions and pour it into their work. They may seem sensitive, but they just want to be understood for what and who they are. They can stimulate other people’s creativity in projects and activities. A manager must learn to maximize their creativity and accept them for their uniqueness.
  • The quiet-observer-type. They are the quiet ones who would just sit in meetings, intensely listening and paying attention to details. They are self-motivating, are often really creative, and even brilliant with their craft. Managers must learn to see through their quiet behavior and appreciate the brilliance that lies beneath. They don’t need to be forced to speak-out in a big group, just allow them to quietly learn and perform at their best. As a consequence of their shy and quiet behavior, these types of employees may also harbor negative emotions, instead of speaking to their co-workers, or yourself, to straighten out a problem. Make sure you talk to them once in a while, and encourage them to speak up about difficulties and problems they may have.
  • The aggressive type. They want to be the best, and thrive on leadership and challenges. They may seem to boss people around, so managers need to look out and keep them guided without killing their enthusiasm to get things done. They can also be confrontational and exhibit a strong personality.

All these traits are gold in the hands of a good manager, but it may be destructive otherwise. During the process of hiring and retention, managers and business owners must learn to understand the personality of their employees and how they can complement each other.

How to Adjust to a New Workplace

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By Kayla Bayens

Adjusting to a new workplace can be stressful. You are the new guy and you aren’t quite sure where everything is yet. But coming into a new workplace environment doesn’t have to be a nightmare. The first month on the job is important as it will leave a lasting impression on your supervisors. Are you a slacker? Are you a team player? Can you keep up with those that have been on the job longer? But not to worry it can also be fun and rewarding starting your new job, here are some tips and suggestions to help smooth out the transition period.

Deep Breath

Now is the time to find your inner Zen. Changing jobs or learning a new one can be extremely stressful. You don’t know if you are doing what you need to or if you are even doing it correctly to start with. Take some time to take deep calming breaths in the morning before work to help you relax and focus. Keep your eye on the goal: Learn the job.

It will take time

Don’t expect to instantly understand every task, know how to do every assignment, or where everything is. These things will take time so remember to not get frustrated. By doing the job as best you can everyday and asking questions you will soon have a complete handle on everything. Soon you’ll be completely comfortable in your job and you won’t even have realized when it happened.

Get to know people

Take some time to talk to your co-workers, maybe ask to sit with some of them during your lunch break. It is important to make the effort to get to know them as you will probably be working on projects with them at some point. However it also gives you a sense of belonging to know the people around you and to be able to strike up a conversation with them. Beware the pitfall of becoming a part of an office clique this early on though. You haven’t been around long enough to understand the inner office politics of things and joining a clique this early can actually hurt you. Be nice, open, and friendly to everyone while doing your best to avoid the under current of inner office politics.

Have goals

A great way to make sure you make the right impression in your first months on the job is to talk about goals with your supervisor. What are the company’s goals for you or your team this month? In the next six months? Knowing the answers to these can give you a target to shoot for. Or if you wanted to earn some brownie points with management always aim to hit about the goal.

Ask for helpt1larg.fall.asleep.work

Remember you are new to this job so you won’t know everything from the start. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help if you aren’t sure. Doing this will actually make you better at your job as time goes on. Instead of getting the habit of doing a task the wrong way because you were too scared to ask, you can instead quickly learn the right way to go about tasks. Keep this in your mind: The quicker you ask for help, the quicker you’ll learn and become the best at your new job. So fire those questions away!

Ask for feedback

What better way to keep getting better at your new job then to ask for feedback. At the end of the first week talk to your supervisor about your performance. Where do you need to improve? Where did you excel? Are there any notes you should take into the next week to work on? Asking for feedback lets your supervisor know you care about doing the best job you can. It lets them see you are more then willing to go an extra mile to make sure you are doing the job in the best way for the company.

Know your surroundings

Take time to get to know where everything is. Do you know where the restrooms are? How about the break room? Water cooler? Printer or copier? All of these things are important to easing you into the workplace. Break rooms and water coolers can provide a chance to get to know some of your co-workers. The better you know where everything around you is, the more comfortable you’ll feel.

Unwritten office conduct

With in the office there will be some unwritten office conduct rules that you will just have to observe. Do people take their lunch at their desk or do they leave for lunch? Are deadlines hard, meaning they have to be in exactly by this time, or are they more like a time frame? Do people normally converse via email or do they go in person when they need to discuss something? Is everyone quiet and focused during work hours or is it a bit more relaxed with people laughing and talking while they work? All of these things are very important to find out in order to fit in. These unwritten rules create the backbone of any workplace environment, so keep an eye out and learn them as quickly as you can.

Dress for Success

p1When Job-Hunting: Dress for Success

by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.

It’s probably one of the most overused phrases in job-hunting, but also one of the most underutilized by job-seekers: dress for success. In job-hunting, first impressions are critical. Remember, you are marketing a product — yourself — to a potential employer, and the first thing the employer sees when greeting you is your attire; thus, you must make every effort to have the proper dress for the type of job you are seeking. Will dressing properly get you the job? Of course not, but it will give you a competitive edge and a positive first impression.

Should you be judged by what you wear? Perhaps not, but the reality is, of course, that you are judged. Throughout the entire job-seeking process employers use short-cuts — heuristics or rules of thumb — to save time. With cover letters, it’s the opening paragraph and a quick scan of your qualifications. With resumes, it is a quick scan of your accomplishments. With the job interview, it’s how you’re dressed that sets the tone of the interview.

How should you dress? Dressing conservatively is always the safest route, but you should also try and do a little investigating of your prospective employer so that what you wear to the interview makes you look as though you fit in with the organization. If you overdress (which is rare but can happen) or underdress (the more likely scenario), the potential employer may feel that you don’t care enough about the job.

How do you find out what is the proper dress for a given job/company/industry? You can call the Human Resources office where you are interviewing and simply ask. Or, you could visit the company’s office to retrieve an application or other company information and observe the attire current employees are wearing — though make sure you are not there on a “casual day” and misinterpret the dress code.

Finally, do you need to run out and spend a lot of money on clothes for interviewing? No, but you should make sure you have at least two professional sets of attire. You’ll need more than that, but depending on your current financial condition, two is enough to get started and you can buy more once you have the job or have more financial resources.

Expert Hints for Dress for Success for Men and Women

Attention to details is crucial, so here are some tips for both men and women. Make sure you have:

  • clean and polished conservative dress shoes
  • well-groomed hairstyle
  • cleaned and trimmed fingernails
  • minimal cologne or perfume
  • no visible body piercing beyond conservative ear piercings for women
  • well-brushed teeth and fresh breath
  • no gum, candy, or other objects in your mouth
  • minimal jewelry
  • no body odor

Finally, check your attire in the rest room just before your interview for a final check of your appearance — to make sure your tie is straight, your hair is combed, etc.

 

The Pros of Hiring Temporary Employees

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By Kayla Bayens

Hiring temps is becoming the normal in today’s businesses. Many companies hire only temps, later bringing on the really great workers as full time employees. This practice is seen a lot and there is a reason for it. The practice of hiring temporary employees affords the companies a lot of benefits that they normally wouldn’t get. Below are some reasons that your company should start thinking about hiring temporary employees when it comes to filling your staffing needs.

Built in Screening

Hiring a temporary employee through an agency all the screening is handled for you. When you are sent a potential candidate you know that person has been screened for qualifications, had a background check, and is legally allowed to work in the state. All that work is handled for you without having to bog down your HR people. The weeding is done before the resumes even reach your hand.

Staffing Flexibilityhappy-worker

You can quickly adjust to any changes in your workload in order to maximize your efficiency. Suddenly have a large influx of work coming in, hire a few temporary employees through a Temp Agency in order to help handle it. Has your workload dipped down after a few months? Well luckily for you instead of having to now keep on unneeded employees while hoping for another large workload to come in you can just let the Temp Agency know the assignment is completed. Both you and the temporary employee can move on to other things while still having both your needs met.

Evaluate without Commitment

Alot of company’s work off of a temp to hire system because of this benefit. Sure someone’s resume might look amazing, and they might have been fantastic in the interviews. But how are they really when it comes to jumping into the job and working? Why not be able to take a few months and find that out without the headache of hiring them on full time when it might not even end up being a good fit. Sure most places have a probationary period for new hires but if that cut off date sneaks up on you without you realizing then you’re in trouble.

Save Time & Money

In most cases hiring a temporary employee is cheaper then hiring a full time employee with benefits. That is because when you go through a Temp Agency they, the agency, not you are the ones who take on the financial burden and responsibilities for recruiting, screening, testing and hiring workers; payroll expenses and paperwork; payroll and withholding taxes; unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance and any other employee benefits they may want to provide. Taking the brunt of the work, time, and money it takes to find the right employee off your hands. Allowing you to focus more on building the best company possible.

happy-workersSpecialized Skills

Sometimes you just don’t have a particular skill that you need in order for your team to accomplish a project. Temporary employees allow you to quickly find and hire on someone with that specialized skill set. Often these individuals also take less time to ramp up into full gear. Which lets your team quickly move forward rather then waiting for the sometimes tedious task of hiring a permanent employee.

High Productivity

You might think temporary employees might be a bit lacking in productivity since they know they won’t be there long. However the opposite as in fact found to be true. According to an extensive study conducted by Vox on labor markets from 1985-2008 it was found when markets were deregulated to allow for more temporary workers employment and GDP per employed person both greatly increased. So contrary to popular belief temporary workers are actually on a whole extremely productive and beneficial to a company.

7 Ways to Be a Stress-Free Workaholic

7 Ways to Be a Stress-Free Workaholic

by Steve Tobak (LinkedIn)

Stress-free workaholic

The complexity, competitiveness, rate of change, and communication overload of modern business life mean one thing: if you want to win, you’ve got to learn to manage stress. 

Saying it’s a crazy, complex world out there is putting it mildly. The rate of technological change is staggering. The constant bombardment of information and communication has us all on overload. And we’re constantly slugging it out in a brutally competitive global market.

If it seems as if you’re locked in a downward spiral of trying to do more with less, it isn’t you. It’s for real. That surprising array of macro factors creates stress on all of our businesses and on all of us. We try to manage it as best we can, but at some point, things break. Systems break. People break. That’s the nature of stress.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re well aware of the constant pressure to keep your burn rate down and stretch capital investments as far as they’ll go. And should the stars align and you gain customer traction, then you’ve got the not-insignificant challenges of high growth and scalability to deal with.

Either way, there are times when you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. And that means stress, big time. Having lived through several high-growth companies, a few successful and failed start-ups, and 20 years of executive management, I have plenty of great strategies for managing stress.

1. Work your tail off when you have to, not when you don’t. Business happens in spurts. Always. Whether you’re developing a product or growing a business, those long hours don’t go on forever. It’s OK to kill yourself for a few weeks or months, as long as you chill out for a while when it’s over. If you do it constantly, you’re asking for trouble.

2. Learn to give up–sort of. When you’re overstressed, overworked, and the ideas just won’t come, try giving up. Seriously, just call it quits, go home, go for a run, whatever. Once you relax, that’s when inspiration flows–usually when you’re lying in bed half asleep or in the shower.

3. Strategize and plan. Here’s a method for managing stress you’re not likely to see anywhere else. When things seem overwhelming, they’re often the result of day-to-day inertia. To thwart the evils of the status quo, take a step back and gain some perspective. Get some time away from distractions–just you or with your team–and brainstorm, strategize, and plan. Have a nice dinner out. You’ll be amazed at the results.

4. Mix business with pleasure. Whenever you’re going through high-stress times, take your team out for dinner. Have a few drinks. Take breaks and goof around. Yes, it probably takes longer to get things done that way, but I would argue that higher morale increases effectiveness.

5. Don’t leave things for the last minute. Yes, I know you can’t always control this, but if you can–and you can more often than you think–give yourself a buffer. You’d be amazed how much more relaxed you’ll be if you plan to finish your pitch a day early or get to the airport a couple of hours before the flight.

6. Don’t take it out on others. Leaders and managers, listen up. Maybe you can function at a high level, but if you’re simultaneously demotivating your team, then what’s the point? And if you take it out on family and friends, you’re just going to end up lonely and depressed. If you can’t handle the stress, find an outlet that doesn’t include taking it out on other living things.

7. Lots of outlets work–pick one or two. Caffeine can boost your mood and performance during the day. Wine can bring you down and help you sleep at night. But you can’t keep that sort of cycle up for too long. Learn to exercise, meditate, get outdoors, build things, play Scrabble, talk to someone–whatever works, do it.

Look, if you want to be a workaholic, that’s fine, be my guest. But at least learn how to be a high-functioning one, meaning don’t just run yourself and your team into the ground. If you’re practical, you’ll be effective.

Above all, learn to recognize the signs of burnout in yourself and your people. Downward spirals are hard to break out of. And, if you’re a leader, you’ll take everyone, and maybe the entire company, down with you.

6 Holiday Money Saving Tips to Help You Stay (Mostly) Sane

by Briana Cavanaugh

The winter holidays can be a lot of fun. But this season is certainly a lot of stress for many people – especially financial stress. Below are 6 holiday money saving tips to help you stay financially sane this holiday season!

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It’s fun to go to parties, but the constant pressure that many of us feel to give gifts, and attend events and social obligations, and to give money to organizations we love – happens all at once! It’s confusing at best and often leads to exhaustion, burn out, and over-spending. So how do you get it all done and keep it all together without blowing your budget?

1. Make a list and check it twice! As cheesy as it might sound, having a list of people to buy for and a calendar of “must do” events can help you create the clarity you need to make sure the important things get done. Any time you get overwhelmed you can come back to that “must do = must buy” list and ask yourself, “Is this on the list?” That moment of coming back to center can help you make the right decisions for you. Sometimes the right answer is saying “yes!” to that last minute event, and sometimes the right thing is to say “no” even if it’s hard.

2. Schedule your down time. Making sure that you eat – every day – is critical.

So is spending time at home doing your dishes, making the bed, and having time to yourself. Put it on the calendar. That way you know that you have time to do the critical self-care things. That way when you go back out into the fray, you feel grounded and refreshed!

3. Make a budget – and stick to it. Knowing your numbers and tracking your money is something I always recommend. And it can really help you stay sane during the holidays by giving you the confidence and clarity you need to make the right decisions for you. Make sure you include everything, from the trip to visit family to the present for your mail carrier. And make sure that if the numbers change that you add that last minute dinner with the friend from out of town, so you stay on track!

4. Prioritize. I know this might sound like blasphemy to some, but consider not doing it all. Consider seeing some people in January, or June so that everyone feels loved and no one feels burdened. I stopped making the trek home for Thanksgiving and Christmas because it was just too much. Instead we make a trip over the summer. It’s a lot more fun to see people when I’m not worried about money or having to slip in a work phone call between conversations with my dad and hugging my niece!

5. Put yourself first! It is your life. You are generous and you want to do the right thing. What is the right thing? I find that the right thing for my family is to have a mom who is not insanely trying to do everything and comes home grumpy and stressed out. I find that the right thing is to teach my son self-care and my values by actually living them. Two of those values are to be healthy and loving to myself and others. I can’t be loving if I’m at my wit’s end and haven’t eaten all day!

6. Breathe! Every time you have a feeling that you’re overwhelmed, take a deep breath. Then take another one. We often don’t get enough oxygen when we’re stressed which enhances the stress hormones in our brains. However, when we are under less stress we make better decisions. So help yourself make better decisions by taking some deep breaths!

Do some office yoga to feel re-energized and renewed!

Get focused at work by taking a moment to do some Office Yoga!

Here are some discreet yoga exercises you can do at your desk.a!

Deep Belly Breathing:

This three-part breath starts by softening the diaphragm, breathing deeply while sending the breath down to the belly, then out to the rib cage and up to the collarbone. The exhale releases from the  top, middle to bottom. Deep Belly Breathing will expand your lung capacity and improve your cardiovascular exchange, as well as revitalize your cells and systems.

Seated Twist:

Sit tall in the middle of the chair with your feet grounded.

Exhale, take your right hand to your left knee and twist gently to the left.

Your left hand goes behind you to the back leg or edge of the chair.

Use the hand to the knee to deepen the twist.

The hand on the chair supports the spine and helps lift the heart center and crown of the head.

Look into the right corners of your eyes as you twist.

Inhale back to center, repeat other side.

Side Stretch:

Sit tall in the middle of the seat with your feet wide.

Right hand reaches down to the right side of the chair to keep the left hip from lifting.

Inhale the left arm out to the side, up and over.

Stretch out from hip with the arm overhead by the ear; the palm faces down.

Feel the stretch from the waist to the fingertips.

Inhale back to center, repeat other side.

Hire the Person, Not the Resume

mind + heart

Monroe Personnel Service, LLC & Temptime, like many other HR companies or departments, receives a lot of resumes every day and reviews them before setting up an interview. So it’s obviously important for candidates to make their resumes clear and show their careers in the best way possible; we shared the article in May: Make Your Resume Stand Out.  However, evaluating a person solely by his or her resume doesn’t necessarily work well for employer. Some candidates, whose resumes seem like a perfect fit for the job description, could be a bad fit for the company, and vice versa.  It’s easy to assume they are ideal employees judging only with their resumes, so employers need to pay attention to gain subtle insights in interviews as well. Today’s article addresses this common hiring mistake.

Top 10 Hiring Mistake #3: Hiring the Resume, Not the Person

By Joel Peterson (LinkedIn)

Hiring someone because they have an impressive resume is like buying a car because you love the brochure. If you fail to look under the hood, buyer beware. Your new hire may end up like the Fisker Karma: the coveted hybrid sports car looked like a million bucks, but was so ridden with glitches that the manufacturer had to halt production and start looking for bankruptcy protection.

You need to avoid lemons when you’re hiring too. That means treating the resume like an advertisement – good for basic information but not the whole story.

A candidate’s education, skillset and experience will be the first things to catch your eye. And, of course, it does matter who the person has worked for, which technologies she knows, and how many people she’s managed.

But what you’re really looking for in a great hire are the qualities you can’t list on a resume – I call these brains and heart. They’re at the root of a person’s ability to confront unexpected challenges, to demonstrate wisdom and judgment, and to develop into an invaluable part of your team.

Brains are more than a person’s raw mental horsepower. This kind of intelligence means having a flexible mindset that combines book smarts and street smarts. The blend enables a person to navigate unfamiliar situations, and to make sense of many conflicting signals. (See Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset for a description of a “growth mindset”). Can this person tell a good risk from a bad one? Can he absorb knowledge fast, and apply it in real time? Does he have the social intelligence to work well with people around him?

Heart is my shorthand for the entire constellation of a candidate’s values. It’s the system of ethics and beliefs from which all her choices and actions arise. Does she dive into whatever she’s working on? Can she deal with tough setbacks? Take responsibility and share credit? Can she make things happen at critical moments, even if she’s tired?

When you find a top-quality hire, you’ll see that the answer to these questions is inevitably yes.

Still, when deadlines loom, there’s a temptation to snap up a skilled person who can help get your current product out the door. Just be wary about striking a Faustian bargain: you may be trading that short-term fix for a long-term disappointment.

Conducting a thorough and insight-capturing interview is one of the best ways to get a deeper sense of a person’s character and mindset.

Embrace Diversity

plum trees and tulips

“Diversity” is a crucial word in the workforce.  Diversity doesn’t just mean racial, ethnic or cultural differences. There are also different personalities.   Monroe Personnel Service, LLC & Temptime hires a wide variety of people.  Even in this small office, we have a big variation of personalities and we often influence each other in ways which improves our quality of work and efficiency.   Those who are fast, scattered, prone to mistakes and get a lot done find common ground with those who are slow, methodical and are less productive.  We can influence one another because we know our own tendencies and we appreciate how others can pull and push us to be our best.  A variety of work styles can make for a more dynamic and stabilized work flow, improving everyone’s experience including employees and clients.   It maybe easier to hire and manage employees who have similar personalities but managing diverging personalities can be a very satisfying experience and produce a very rich and effective office culture.  How do you manage the personalities in your office?   We would like to offer the following article to maximize the potential of your office personalities.

 

The Secret to Successful Hiring and Retention: Embrace Diverse Personalities

by Linda Finkle (Incedo)

No two people are exactly the same. We all have our own traits, attitudes, and capabilities. You may be able to do one thing better than another person, but it doesn’t mean that you are absolutely better—we all have varying strengths and weaknesses. Everyone is unique in his own way. Given this fact, every business must understand this as they go about the process of hiring and retention of their staff.

Working with people of diverse personalities and work habits may be a challenge. A manager must be able to maximize each one’s potential in a way that one person will compliment the other, thus allowing a team to work in harmony. You can never expect everyone in your team to be exactly the same, to work in the same pace, and exhibit identical behavior. Though, you can set your expectations high in terms of work quality, you need to understand that each employee may be better in one area than another and vice versa.

Managers need to look at staff diversity in a positive way and embrace each one’s uniqueness to compliment the entire team. But this does not mean tolerating bad behavior. No. It only means accepting each one’s strengths, weaknesses, and skills and using it to everyone’s advantage. This is a very important consideration in staff hiring and retention rate.

Different Personalities of Employees and How to maximize their Potentials:

  • The helper type. These are staff who are always ready with a helping hand, they enjoy the feeling of being needed and appreciated for their service. Their personality tends to bring out the best in their co-workers. Managers must be generous with kind words of affirmation to keep this type of people in helping others and performing well at work.
  • The creative type. They explore their deepest passions and pour it into their work. They may seem sensitive, but they just want to be understood for what and who they are. They can stimulate other people’s creativity in projects and activities. A manager must learn to maximize their creativity and accept them for their uniqueness.
  • The quiet-observer-type. They are the quiet ones who would just sit in meetings, intensely listening and paying attention to details. They are self-motivating, are often really creative, and even brilliant with their craft. Managers must learn to see through their quiet behavior and appreciate the brilliance that lies beneath. They don’t need to be forced to speak-out in a big group, just allow them to quietly learn and perform at their best. As a consequence of their shy and quiet behavior, these types of employees may also harbor negative emotions, instead of speaking to their co-workers, or yourself, to straighten out a problem. Make sure you talk to them once in a while, and encourage them to speak up about difficulties and problems they may have.
  • The aggressive type. They want to be the best, and thrive on leadership and challenges. They may seem to boss people around, so managers need to look out and keep them guided without killing their enthusiasm to get things done. They can also be confrontational and exhibit a strong personality.

All these traits are gold in the hands of a good manager, but it may be destructive otherwise. During the process of hiring and retention, managers and business owners must learn to understand the personality of their employees and how they can complement each other.

How to Prepare as the Interviewer

How well do you prepare for interviews? A lot of stress is placedInterviewer question on the importance of applicant preparation, but it is also important for the interviewer to be well-prepared in order to hire the best employees. An interviewer could easily miss an “ideal” applicant, or be unaware of an applicant’s talent if he or she does not ask the right questions. Monroe Personnel Service, LLC and Temptime prepares for and conducts many interviews to hire the best candidates for our clients. To help make your interviews more effective,  we would like to share the following article for interviewers.

“How to Prepare as the Interviewer”

  By Alexandra Levit, Job Dig 

It’s that time again. You need to interview for an open position on your team, a position that you need filled yesterday! Giving advance consideration to the questions you will ask your candidates will go a long way in terms of making the process as smooth and streamlined as possible.

While it’s appropriate to tailor some of your inquiries to each candidate, it will be easier to compare apples to apples if you develop a core set of questions that all interviewees are required to answer. Create at least two questions for each of the criteria identified in your job description. Each question should also have a rating scale attached to it. For example, you might determine that an answer will be rated from 1-5 (with 1 being poor, and 5 being superior), providing a description of what encompasses a “superior” response and a “poor” response.

What are the best types of questions to ask? Several full-length books have been devoted to this subject, but I’ll share some guidelines from Martin Yate, author of Hiring the Best:

Adaptability and suitability questions
These show the candidate’s skill set and test his understanding of the problems that must be solved, the problems he is there to avoid, and what he’s there to produce. Examples: What would you say were the most important responsibilities in your previous job? What was the most difficult project you tackled in your previous job? With all of your responsibilities, how have you planned and organized your workload?

Motivation questions
These demonstrate whether the candidate will be someone who comes to work with the intention of making a contribution and wants to spend the day engaged in focused activity. Examples: What personal qualities do you think are necessary to make a success of this job? What have you done that you are proud of? Think of a crisis situation in which things got out of control. Why did it happen, and what was your role in the events, and their resolution?

Teamwork and Manageability questions
These showcase whether the candidate will be a cohesive influence, and whether her work style will mesh with your management style. Examples: Describe the best manager you ever had. In what areas could your last boss have done a better job? Tell me about an occasion when there were objections to your ideas. What did you do to convince others of your point of view?

Management questions
These illustrate that the candidate will be successful at hiring and training, as well as getting work done through others. Examples: How do you quantify your results as a manager? Tell me about an occasion when, in difficult circumstances, you pulled the team together. What are the common reasons for resignations in your area of responsibility?

Entry-level questions
These test a candidate’s potential ability to do the job when she has little or no prior work experience. Examples: How did you spend your vacations while at school? What have you done that shows initiative and willingness to work? What job in the company do you want to work toward?

The passion variable
Richard Chang, CEO of performance improvement consulting firm Richard Chang Associates, also recommends that you ask questions that get to the heart of an individual’s passion. Look for people who have demonstrated that they have pursued experiences they were passionate about as they have matured –particularly with their own professional development.

Involve existing team members
It’s a good idea for multiple people on your team to evaluate each candidate. Organizational psychologist Ben Dattner suggests that you look for interviewers with the following attributes:

  • Knowledgeable about the role, the team, and the organization
  • Representative of diverse groups within the organization
  • Reluctant to jump to conclusions
  • Open-minded and able to revise opinions
  • Self-aware and able to account for their own biases
  • Accurate in their predictions of candidate success over time

Your team should be coordinated on the roles that each interviewer should play. If a candidate is interviewing with four people, each person should be designated specific questions so that all four people aren’t asking the same things.