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Decide what you want this employee to be able to do, say and know. Talk to people in your organisation who are doing well in the role. Find out what they do and why it works for them. In other words, create a profile of your top performers. This will help you decide which questions to ask to uncover who has the skills you want.
It’s good to start the interview with something completely non-threatening to break the ice. Run through with the candidate how long you’ll take and what the interview will consist of. Then ask them to take you through their CV in ten minutes. You’ll learn as much as if they spend an hour and you’ll learn whether they can listen well, do as asked and keep to time.
It’s also worth devising a way to assess technical capability. This might be showing you their portfolio, asking them some technical ‘expert’ questions about a particular software product or discussing an area of the market or a client or brand.
Remember here you are looking for examples of work when the candidate has demonstrated a particular behaviour. You can discover this by asking questions like:
“Can you tell me about a time you’ve had to deal with a difficult client?”
You should then follow the STAR questioning method:
What was the S ituation?
What was the T ask (goal/objective)
What A ction did you take?
What was the R esult?
If your candidate cannot give you a full set of answers, it is likely they do not have this particular competency.
Probing is key to success here. Often the first answer the candidate gives may look good on the surface but when you dig down more carefully you will uncover other helpful evidence. If the candidate seems to have too much ‘good’ or ‘positive’ evidence and seems ‘too perfect’ it’s also a good idea to look for contrary evidence. Most people can evidence a mistake, and if they can't that will also tell you they are either not trying new things or operating within a very tight rein.