Culling the list
The screening interview is a short, phone-based interview designed to clear out B and C players from your roster of candidates. Be sure to if you are not sold immediately.
Ask candidate questions then tell them about us.
We don't want to taint their answers or have them repeat back what you told them about us. Example. "Hi, I am really looking forward to our time together. Here's what I'd like to do. I'd like to spend the first twenty minutes getting to know you. After that, I am happy to answer any questions you have so you can get to know us. Sound good?"
Why do you want to work here? What are your career goals? (if they say 'I don't know', ask for goal in the next 2 years) What are you really good at professionally? Interacting with customers. What are you not good at or not interested in doing professionally? Who were your last two bosses and how will they each rate your performance on a 1-10 scale when we talk to them?
1. Why do you want to work here?
This questions aim to answer one questions, "Do your career interests match our company goals?"
As we know, work at HLA can be challenging, this will help us determine if the candidate truly wants to do the work not whether he/she can.
Bad Answers (continue with interview even if you hear one of these)
2. What are your career goals?
The best candidates will share career goals that match your company's needs. Be sure they speak with passion and energy about their goals. They should be ecstatic, these are their goals.
Gallup researchers uncovered, Motivation - drive for achievement, to be the top innate trait that predicts performance across job types. A word of caution: Be sure that motivation is linked to the job at hand, otherwise that drive will fade in the day to day reality of the job.
3. What are you really good at professionally?
This question should generate plenty of dialogue. You shouldn't have any problem getting people to list their strengths. Try to push the candidate to give you eight positives to build a complete picture of their aptitude. Ask for examples to help put their strengths into context. If they say they are decisive, press for an example of a time when this trait served them well, and remember, you are listening for strengths that match the job at hand. If you see major gaps between their strenghts and our scorecard, screen them out.
4. What are you not good at or not interested in doing professionally?
Third question captures the other side of the balance sheet. You could ask for weaknesses outright, but too often that approach yields cookie cutter, self-serving answers like I am impatient for results or I work too hard. Instead, let the candidates answer as they will. If you hear cookie-cutter answers, simply say, that sounds like a strength to me. Ask what are you really not good at or not interested in doing? You want them to give you five to eight examples.
If the candidate does not give an answer either you are not re-phrasing the question enough or the candidate is so stubborn that he/she will not a single thing they did not enjoy doing.
If you are still not making any progress. Remind the candidate that if they advance to the next step in our process, we will be contacting their previous employers or coaches to help us identify their weaknesses. This should help them give examples.
5. Who were your last five bosses and how will they each rate your performance on a 1-10 scale when we talk to them?
Note the language: How will they rate you when we talk to them? Not if we talk to them. When. This will help candidates be more honest. Follow up by pressing for details. What makes them think their boss would rate them a 7? We are looking for 7 and up. Consider 7 as neutral and anything below as bad. We have found that people who give themselves a rating of 6 or lower are really saying 2. Be sure to check up with all 5 bosses not just one.
After the interview
Ask yourself Do this person's strengths match my scorecard? Are the weaknesses manageable? Am I thrilled about brining this person in for a series of interviews based on the data I have? You want to be excited about the possibility. You want to have the feeling that you have found the one. If you have any hesitation, or if you find yourself thinking you want to bring in the candidate in just to test them a little more, then screen them out.