If you are lucky enough to work for a company that let’s its Supervisors be part of the hiring process, take advantage of the opportunity. If this is something that is new to you, it could be intimidating at first. Hiring is not a science, if it was everyone would always hire the right people. Nobody would ever hire the wrong person.

My first management position was in a small retail store and it was time to start hiring for Christmas. I interviewed a bunch of people for seasonal positions. We used a standardized interview form with an answer key of what to listen for. I was building my team with people who scored high enough to pass the interview. One young man came in for an interview and partially aced the interview. In my young career I have never seen anyone score has high as he did. At the same time my gut was telling me something was not right. The kid was just a little off. But how could he be if he scored that high?

So I ended up hiring the kid and he started with me. I started to notice some of his behaviors he was constantly late, he would manipulate situations he ended up not being a very good employee. Now at the same time he scored very highly on his interview but I should’ve followed my gut instinct. I knew that there’s something just not right. The young man knew how to interview, he knew how to answer all the questions just right but when he came down to actually doing the work and being reliable that was a different story. He didn’t make it through the holidays.

Most companies will have standardized interview questions with key points to look for. I suggest that newer Supervisors stick to the script. These interview scripts are designed to keep you out of trouble. Now that the HR professionals are breathing a sigh of relief, I will say that once you get comfortable with the process you may want to modify some of the questions. You may find that the standard questions are not giving you the insight that you were looking for but if you ask it a little different you exactly what you need.

Anybody who has ever done a significant amount of hiring will have stories that they’ll brag about. Telling you how they identified a candidate that was the diamond in the rough. How only they saw the true talents that were missed by everyone else. Rarely are the disasters bragged about. The candidate that is let go after the first day. The Jekyll and Hyde candidate who turns into a different person as soon as they are hired.

Since hiring is not a science, it can’t just be simply learned. It’s something that has to be practiced. There is no formula that can be applied that will tell you who to hire. There are guidelines, experience, instinct and a little bit of luck. I want to know what are your hiring experiences. Have you found that diamond in the rough or Jekyll and Hyde?

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