How do you really know if you are hiring a person that fits your culture? Many people have become quite gifted at interviewing and heaven knows there are more resources available than ever before to the job seeker.

Are those who do the interviewing trained effectively? Do they know the right questions to ask to ensure that the interviewee is indeed the right person? Do they really understand why they are asking certain questions of the candidates? Do the interviewers themselves know what their organizational culture really is?

I think one of the keys to hiring the right people is to understand fully what it is that your organization does - what is the mission of the company - why are you in business?

If you aren't clear on that; how can you possibly hire to fit the culture?

Most people are quite familiar with the behavioural and situational interviews and I think they are the most frequently used at present. Behavioural questions are excellent as they are fairly good indicators of how a person has performed in the past and will probably give the interviewer an understanding of how they can expect them to perform in the future. Situational questions give an indication of how a person may react in a hypothetical situation they probably have not yet faced.

Both of these types of interviews have value - but to match the candidates skills with those of the job and the needs of the organization - is what you should be hoping to gain from the interviewing process. It can also be of value to ask the candidate questions that relate to their personal interests. Why? It will help you to realize if their natural interests align with what the role has to offer. For example, if you are hiring for a customer service representative and the person's interests are reading, playing computer games, doing things in solitude...are they really well suited to a job that must deal with the public on a daily basis?

I have been part of interviews that had nothing whatsoever to do with the particular job I had applied for and I left there wondering how they could possibly know if I could do the job?

I also think it's important to learn more about the attitude of the candidate when faced with difficult challenges. Did they look to blame others? Did they take responsibility and learn from their mistakes, if any were made, and even if mistakes weren't made; did they look for ways to improve on processes?

Prior to going into an interview situation with a candidate, be sure that the interview team clearly has what the standards are ahead of time. What demonstrates a desired response as compared to an adequate response?

Let's face it - some people are more gifted at acing interviews than others - be sure that you are asking questions that will delve a bit deeper into who your candidates are and what they really can bring to the table.

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