A productive interview with a potential new hire requires a boss to be thoroughly prepared for and involved in the meeting.
Some of the sharpest owners and managers I know sum up successful interviews this way: You get out of a job interview exactly what you put into it.
Note that a successful interview may have one of two different results. First, it may screen out an unsuitable candidate. Or, it may identify a qualified one.
Anyway, these ladies and gentlemen have stressed that, at the very least, they create a bare-bones outline of the key topics to discuss with the job applicant. The outline helps an interviewer stay focused on the goal, they told me.
Sometimes, the job interview burns up more time than expected or it simply goes off on a tangent of some sort. Therefore, it may not reveal all the information the interviewer needs to assess the applicant.
An outline that guides the meeting successfully need not be an elaborate document. Instead, it may comprise only several phrases such as work ethic, team-worthiness, quality-consciousness, problem-solving outlook, etc.
What's more, an outline may prompt a busy boss to observe other traits in the applicant. An effective outline may contain one-word cues such as grooming, attire, manners, speech, etc.
Some interviewers place an interview outline in an inconspicuous place where they can refer to it at a glance without the applicant seeing its contents.
The savvy bosses I referred to a moment ago highly recommend making notes about each trait and characteristic immediately after the interview. The sooner the interviewer records these details, the more accurate and reliable the impressions tend to be.
Some owners and managers assume that they'll remember the interview accurately later on, but realistically, they may not recall it as well as they hoped.
Now, for one thing, a tire dealer or service shop operator may have an embarrassment of riches — several fine potential hires instead of just one. Therefore, the boss may have to make some close calls on the choice of applicant. Having personal notes to refer back to may provide a tie-breaker during the selection process.
But I'll repeat a vital point here: Some owners and managers absorb and later recall relevant details readily — but others do not. Write them down; Put them into your PC.
For another thing, a new opening may occur at your tire dealership or service shop. With some luck, one of those strong candidates you did not choose may still be available. Or, perhaps this person is open to a job change at this time.
Imagine how helpful it would be to have those interview notes handy whenever you wanted to take a second look at a prospective hire.
Before I proceed, let me give credit where credit is due. I have met shrewd, experienced bosses who interview applicants effectively without outlines or notes. Later, an extraordinary memory enables this owner or manager to recall the smallest details of every interview.