Interview Yourself First to Interview – and Hire – Better

Interview yourself

When we open our doors to potential hires, part of the process is to create a list of interview questions that will hopefully make the best candidates stand out. While this is simply common sense, experts now recommend that employers first interview themselves before meeting applicants for three reasons:


  • It lets you see what you are looking for in a candidate more clearly
  • It helps you formulate better, more targeted interview questions
  • It gives you a reality check on what you want (preference) versus what you need (requirement)


Having better-defined goals, expectations and even checklists can make a difference in the time and effort it takes to select the best person for the job. Ready to fine-tune your hiring? Here are the interview questions you can ask yourself:


  1. In recalling employees who previously held this job, which traits of theirs helped them excel, and which qualities held them back? It might be that the person who was the best at the position you are hoping to fill had Customer Service experience, even if the actual position is for a Marketing Coordinator. Or maybe a Project Manager was a better fit because of organizational skills. In the same vein, you might remember that someone who is inflexible about working late or on weekends did not work out, so you can make sure to ask, “What is your background?”, and “How do you feel about working on weekends?”



  1. Are you looking for someone who can grow with your company, take it to the next level, or freshen it up? While this varies depending on the seniority of the position you are trying to fill, this is your opportunity to add a new hire that both adds to your productivity goals as well as infuses your culture by strengthening it, or even with something fresh. A new perspective can sometimes be a positive jolt that could reignite creativity or help everyone see goals and how to attain them in a new light. On the flipside, if you are a new company or in a new market trying to establish credibility or can learn from an industry/business community veteran, what do you look for in a seasoned pro?


  1. What does the productivity gap that the employee needs to fill actually look like? You may be trying to replace a Front Desk Coordinator who was with the company for years, but what did this person do on a day-to-day basis? Maybe your company has grown enough that you are looking for someone who can do basic payrolling, or someone with Executive Assistant experience. On the other hand, you might be looking for someone to manage a team, but upon consideration, realize there is someone in that team who can take the rein – and what you need is another future leader who can be at the entry point of their career right now.

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