As a small business owner, you want to hire the right people — and the key to that is being able to conduct a job interview well. Whether you’re hiring your first employee or filling a large number of positions, knowing what questions to ask can make a huge difference in your success.
Start by reviewing the Canada Human Resources Centre list of legal and illegal questions to find out what questions you can’t ask. In many cases, careful phrasing can be your friend during the interview. For example, you can ask if an individual is between the ages of 18 and 60, but you can’t ask their exact age. You can also ask if the person is authorized to work in Canada, but you can’t ask if they are a Canadian citizen.
Prepare key questions to ask candidates in advance so you can learn the information you’re eager to know. Ask what strengths and weaknesses an applicant can bring to the position to see whether the candidate has prepared. An individual who is really interested in the position can match their skills with specific job requirements.
Creative questions can help reveal the true personality of each candidate. Inquire about past relationships with co-workers, or get the applicant to tell you about their greatest career accomplishment and what they did to achieve it. Finish up the interview by asking if the candidate has any questions. This can display how fast they think on their feet and may also reveal what’s most important to them. Spend a little time preparing for each job interview you conduct to avoid pitfalls and to help identify the best person for the job.