No matter how good you are as an entrepreneur, you’re going to need great employees to succeed. You’re going to want to personally interview everyone interested in working with you and make sure that each person hired is the best person available for the job. It’s difficult and time-consuming, but having the assurance that you personally vetted each person on the team can give you the confidence to delegate and spend more time on the big picture.
What Do You Read?
Asking people what they’re currently reading is a great way to read their character. It’s not the be-all and end-all, but it can give you a great idea of who you’re interviewing. Ideally, you’re looking for people reading something that improves them. It could be a book, a magazine, or a series of articles on a website they frequent. Fiction or non-fiction, it doesn’t matter. What matters is why they’re reading it. Does it improve them in one way or another? Do they use it as a form of stress relief? This will tell you where their priorities are and whether or not they’ll fit in with the rest of the company.
What Do You Dislike About the Company and How Would You Fix It?
Asking them about their thoughts can tell you a lot. It’ll tell you how much research they’ve actually done on your company, which can inform you as to whether or not they’re taking the interview seriously or if they’re just desperate for a job.
There’s so much you can learn from their answer to this. First off, you’ll get a good idea of how the applicant verbalizes their concerns and whether they’re willing to verbalize them in the first place. Asking them for their opinion on your company will also inform you whether or not they’re constantly looking for solutions. Even if they don’t have a good solution, you can get a good idea of how they go about solving problems.
What Are You Proud of in Your Professional Career?
Ask them about the high point of their professional career and you’ll find out what’s important to them. Maybe they’ve been in their field for five years – are they proud of the fact that they’ve been there for that long or of a particular achievement? Is that achievement something that implies pride in the quality of their work?
As an entrepreneur, what your employees find worthy of pride will inform you of where they’ll put their effort. You want people who find pride in good, hard work and results rather than people who are proud of simply existing in the field they’re in. That can be the difference between someone who’ll clock out when the time comes and someone who is willing to stay long nights when it’s needed.
Do You Enjoy Team Sports?
Asking whether or not they’ve been in a team sport is basically a thinly veiled attempt to find out how they function in a group. People who’ve been in teams are generally experienced communicators and have experienced a respectable amount of pressure. This kind of experience will benefit them and your company greatly, as start-ups require good lines of communication and the ability to cope with stress and pressure.
What Are Your Hobbies?
Asking them about their hobbies may seem strange, but it’s actually a great way to figure out a lot about a potential hire. Employees who do nothing in their off time may not be who you want, as they might not have the thirst for achievement that you need in your company. Look for people who look to succeed in anything they do and/or have a driving need to constantly improve themselves. They’ll be a huge benefit to a fledgling start-up.
These questions might seem like overkill, but if you’re a responsible entrepreneur, you’ll ask every single potential hire about their hobbies and their proudest moments. A good resume can only tell you so much about the interviewee. You want to know if they have what it takes to help you take the start-up to the next level. A curriculum vitae will not tell you if they have a need to succeed or if they’re constantly improving themselves. These questions will.