hiring at a board meeting

One of the most difficult things I have to do as a business owner is interview people.

Whether I’m looking for a new virtual assistant, or whether I’m hoping to find someone to work with for an ad campaign, interviewing people can be tough.

Among the most common things business owners start with during an interview? “Tell me about yourself.”

What usually follows is a litany of career highlights. How will this help you find the right fit for your business?

Well, the good news is that it can help. Standouts tend to provide you more than a checklist of the positions they’ve had before. Here are some things to look for:

What Can the Applicant Do For Your Business?

As you look for the right fit for your business, listen for clues that the applicant understands your company and what you’re trying to accomplish.

When I interview people, I like for them to tell me things about themselves that indicate that they will fit in with my goals and that they will align well with the values of my company.

If it’s just a list of career accomplishments, that’s not going to help. But if they can talk about how they specifically work with other folks in the financial space, or about how they’ve solved a problem they know I have, that’s a good clue that they are a good fit — and they know they can contribute to my business in a meaningful way.

Finding that Connection

It’s important to be careful when looking for the right fit for your business. Many interviewees understand some of the tricks designed to make them seem more like “your type.”

Watch out for people who just mirror you, or nod a lot. Instead, get them to talk about themselves and listen to what they say. My VA might not do the same activities as me on the weekend, but by listening to how they talk about family, money, and work can give me an idea if we’re compatible. It’s about finding someone who’s going to be engaged with my business.

Finding that real connection can be a big deal when it comes to getting the right people on board with your business.

You have to feel comfortable with them and feel as though when it comes to values, you’re on the same page.

When someone answers the “tell me about yourself” query with something concrete about themselves, rather than just information on their career, you might be able to go deeper and find a real connection.

Conduct the Rest of the Interview Based on That Response

Having set interview questions for everyone might not actually be your best bet for finding the right fit for your business. Instead, let “Tell me about yourself” guide you. It gives the interviewee a chance to shine.

Sure, have a general idea of what you want to learn from each applicant. However, flexibility with questions might help more. Listen to how someone presents themself can be a game-changer.

I'm Miranda and I'm a freelance financial journalist and money expert. My specialties are investing, small business/entrepreneurship and personal finance. The journey to business success and financial freedom is best undertaken with fellow travelers.

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