If you’re an advisor with a growing practice, you’ve likely been involved in the hiring process at some point. I’ve helped many advisors like with you hiring, and interviewing is always the most dreaded aspect.Other phases of hiring like recruiting, compensation and on-boarding each have their own challenges, but interviewing can be incredibly awkward and nerve-wracking for all involved.“What do I ask?”“How do I know if it’s going well?”“When should I make up my mind about this person?”The questions about interviewing are seemingly endless and may feel overwhelming. But interviewing is also the most critical part of the hiring process, as it gives you a detailed indication of:
While there is no guarantee for a foolproof interviewing process, once you get a handle on the basics and employ a structured approach, interviewing becomes a much more comfortable and empowering endeavor.Based on years of experience in guiding advisors towards making the ideal hire, here are a few of the top do’s and don’ts of interviewing.
Top 5 Don’ts of InterviewingDon’t interview until you have a job description. Without it, how will you know if you have the right fit for the role? The high level job overview and task list (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly) set a crucial foundation for successfully interviewing to full the position. Don’t ask illegal/inappropriate questions. Topics like these are of the “hot stove” variety. Don’t touch!
A good rule of thumb is to only ask job-related questions. Not hiring a candidate due to their race, color, sex, religion, national origin, birthplace, age, disability or marital/family status is illegal. Therefore, do not ask questions that could elicit such information.
Don’t decide too soon. Too often we get the call about someone being hired and hear “ Now what do I do with them? ” Just because the candidate seems like a winner or has seemingly positive qualities doesn’t mean they’ll be capable to fill the role you need without proper assessment.Don’t hire them because they remind you of you . Many inexperienced advisors tend to hire those most like their own personality and “fall in love” with the similarity vs. additional vetting beyond personality. Don’t ignore red flags. If they’re late for their interview, they’ll be late for anything. Hearing pushback on role expectations is another easy one to spot. For example, if work hours are 8-5 and the candidate says “I only work 9-4,” there’s going to be trouble in paradise. Also, philosophies or values differing from your team will likely disrupt your culture. Related: 9 Ways To Motivate Employees That Don’t Always Involve CashRelated: 13 Signs Someone is About to Quit
Top 5 Dos of InterviewingDo explain the entire interviewing process. Too often candidates are left wondering what the next stage is in the process or a timeline of the decision. The market it too competitive today to not give clarity of the process.Also, your process may need to be sped up or consolidated to ensure you still get the information you need to make the best decision without losing quality candidates. Do ask better questions. By asking open-ended questions and asking for specific examples, you’ll give your candidate a chance to demonstrate their listening skills and their ability to communicate. Here is just a sampling of the questions I supply advisors:
Bonus Tip: How to Know You’ve Got a Viable Candidate
From the beginning of the interview process, ask yourself this question: “ Am I curious and want to know more? ”
You may instead find yourself asking, “Would I hire them or not?” But you don’t have enough information to answer the ‘hire or not’ question until the end of the interviewing process. The ‘Am I curious’ question helps you and your hiring team move candidates through the process or to disengage.Stay tuned for upcoming installments in my series on interviews. By following these and future tips on interviewing, you’ll soon be a hiring pro for your practice.