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Your business will rise or fall according to the quality of individuals you hire. As King Solomon observed, "Like an archer who wounds at random is he who hires a fool or any passer-by" (Prov. 26:10 NIV).

Poor hiring decisions will hurt your business, but effective interviewing will screen out weak performers and highlight those most likely to contribute to your success.

Be Prepared
Effective interviewing begins with a clear, written description of the basic job qualifications. Start by determining minimum levels of typing speed, computer expertise, knowledge of machinery, or other specialized skills necessary for proficient job performance.

Your local office supply store may have standard tests available to help you develop methods for candidates to demonstrate the required skills.

Next, develop a list of essential interview questions, inquiring specifically about each of the candidate's past jobs. Ask for a summary of additional responsibilities that were added in each job to determine whether a solid progression toward more responsibility has been established.

Look for Vision
Ask candidates where they see themselves in six to twelve months. An employee who comes in with unreasonable expectations will soon become restless and quickly move on to the next job. On the other hand, a candidate without short-term to mid-range goals may also have a lethargic attitude that will spill over into poor performance.

Ask about any future educational plans to gain a sense of the person's future direction. As it says in Proverbs 29:18, "Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained" (NASB), a worker without vision will likewise be ineffective.

Discover Their Willingness to Learn
Another good question to ask prospective employees is what they learned from each previous job. Follow up by asking, "What type of training was most effective for you?" Seek to hire people who have a demonstrated ability to learn and a positive attitude toward growing on the job.

Past relationships with bosses are an important indicator of future success. Ask candidates what they have learned from their former supervisors. Look for a balanced perspective. If every manager was a jerk, watch out.

Likewise, if every past relationship was great, you may not be getting a straight answer. Probe for specific insight. "Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise and apply your mind to my knowledge" (Prov. 22:19 NASB).

Probe Their Interest, Flexibility, and Expectations
Another key question is, "Why are you interested in this job?" Follow up by asking what the candidate liked most and least about past employers and employment. Ask what type of work is most interesting.

If they dislike repetitive tasks and that's the core of the job, you probably have a poor fit. Screen out those who are merely looking for a paycheck from those who would genuinely fit the position.

Coping with change is an important skill in many businesses, so ask candidates about the two or three biggest changes they have experienced on the job and how they adapted.

Inquiring about their salary history will reveal the types of increases they might expect, as well as what might entice them away from you.

Be Patient
Your questions may be greeted with silence at times, but always wait for an answer. Don't let the candidate off the hook. We all get stumped from time to time, so kindly let prospects know that you will wait for them to formulate an answer.

Expect Honesty
Honesty is critical. If at any point during an interview you determine that a candidate has been less than honest, bring the interview to a close. You will always regret hiring a dishonest individual. "Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord" (Prov. 12:22 NASB).

Use these questions as a foundation for your hiring process, and add your own questions to customize your approach. Interview thoroughly and listen carefully, and you'll end up building a great team.

Copyright © Business Proverbs All rights reserved.

Author Biography

Steve Marr
Web site: The Life
Steve Marr has learned from 40 years of business experience that God's way works. As an author, speaker and business consultant, Marr helps companies and organizations apply the ancient wisdom of the Bible to avoid the common mistakes and headaches of growing a business.

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