Hire The Best Employee… Ever! Every time!

The next time you conduct a job interview you will have an amazing experience because you’ve decided that from now on… you will always hire the best employee.

For most employers, job interview questions focus on one or two specific skill sets. Job interview questions explore ‘what’ a candidate has done in the past. Even if a few hypothetical questions were asked… like “What would you do if you had an angry customer on the phone?” a critical piece of analysis is missed.

The Job Interview Solution

Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

To hire the best employee, focus the job interview questions on ‘how’ or ‘why’ the candidate has done ‘what’ they’ve done. In addition, change hypothetical questions into questions about real experiences. This process is called Behavioural Event Interview or BEI.

Example Interview Questions:
Don’t Ask / Do Ask

Instead of asking one-off skill based questions like: “What were your main responsibilities as Manager Customer Service?” design a series of open-ended job interview questions. For example:

  1. “Explain your main responsibilities as Manager Customer Service?”
  2. “Describe the situation and circumstances when, as a Manager Customer Service, you had to calm down an angry customer.”
    1. “Describe the steps you took to calm down that angry customer
    2. “Explain why that was the best outcome – for the company and for the customer.

As you listen to their answers, consider how they are representing their values and goals as well as the values and goals of the organization they work / worked for.

It’s important to note – the last three example interview questions (above), are designed to ask the candidate to give real examples – they are not hypothetical. If the candidate doesn’t have direct experience, that’s fine… ask them to give examples from volunteer work or even a personal situation. What is most important here is to explore:

  • How the candidate responds to stressful situations… by looking at past behaviour
  • How the candidate represents values and goals… by looking at past behaviour

Again – what we’re doing is focusing job interview questions on ‘how’ and ‘why’ a candidate done things in the past. Exploring ‘how’ and ‘why’ is effective because exploring past behaviour is a far better predictor of future behaviour than exploring only skill set and hypothetical situations.

The Benefit

Whoops, I’ve already covered some benefits… but let me continue.

Not only will you hire the right person, the whole process happens:

  • Quickly (hiring decisions made more quickly because you will see quickly who is the best fit)
  • Cost effectively (the right employees get up-to-speed fast, are happier, are more passionate about the job and stay longer)
  • The process can be measured / stands up to scrutiny. Gaps in skill set are identified. Gaps aren’t bad – they are places where an investment of education or mentoring will make the biggest gain.

What If A Candidate Has A Gap In Skills But Great Values?

Great employees are passionate about learning and adding to their abilities. If you hire an employee that knows everything already, don’t be surprised if they get bored and move on sooner rather than later.

You want employees that will respect your brand and your clients. Like I said above, if they are lacking one or two minor skills – no big problem – most skills can be learned quickly… but personality traits like passion, respect and attention to detail are traits you want to be sure your employees have.


In today’s highly competitive business market, companies and employees are being held up to higher standards.

The old way of interviewing holds too much risk – for the company (who might miss the best fit), and for the candidate who might experience longer-term career challenges because they spend time working a job that is not right for them.

Hire the best employee…every time. Sure you want to evaluate skills, but be sure to evaluate ‘how’ and ‘why’ people do what they do.

Happy communication and job interviewing. 

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Bruce Mayhew Consulting facilitates courses including Email Etiquette, Managing Difficult Conversations, Multigenerational Training, Time Management and Mindfulness.

Find answers to your Professional Development questions / needs at brucemayhewconsulting.com.

Give us a call at 416 617 0462. We’ll listen.

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I’d enjoy reading your comments on this post.

About Bruce Mayhew
Bruce Mayhew is a Leadership Coach, Keynote Speaker and Corporate Trainer who builds strong client and co-worker relationships that give clients a competitive advantage. Our training and development programs include: ■Generational Differences ■Effective Business Email Writing ■Email Etiquette ■Phone Etiquette ■Behaviour Event Interviewing (BEI) ■Mindfulness ■Using Linkedin to Build Client Relationships ■Objective Setting Made Easy

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