Building the right team to deliver the standard of care you expect your customers to receive can be challenging.

There are lots of elements that are required to achieve success, from establishing companywide values to guide decisions, to empowering your teams with enough training to give them the confidence they need.

Recruit the right people to fit in with your company values and your task will be made a whole lot easier. Instead of having to start from scratch instilling the right behaviours, just interview your candidates in a way that reveals if they already fit in with your culture.

Here are some tips to help you make the most of interviews.

Refine, understand and live your company values

Ensuring that your business has a clear, concise list of values to operate to makes everyone’s job easier. They can act as a sense check and a behaviour guide all in one go. If you check your organisational objectives all fit with your values then you will have a more consistent direction for the business. They can then also be applied to your recruitment, induction and training processes to find the very best staff for your culture.

Be clear on what those values look like as behaviours

Translate each value into the sets of behaviours you would want to see all members of staff adopt (including senior management)

For example, if one of your values is empathy, you might list down the following behaviours:

  • Listening without agenda, to truly understand the perspective of the person speaking
  • Behaving with compassion towards a colleague who is having a difficult day – making them a cup of tea or offering to help with work so they can finish on time

Ask value driven competency-based questions

Once you know the behaviours that you want to see reflected in your new team members, translate them into a competency-based question that asks for a real-life example of a time they demonstrated that behaviour.

Using the same example of empathy interview questions, you could use to identify the right behaviours and mindset could be:

Can you tell me about a time when you supported a colleague through a difficult time? What happened and how did you help them?

What was the impact of your actions?

Help your candidate relax

We’ve all been to interviews where the interviewer has seen it as their personal mission to scare the living daylights out of their prospective employee, and make it really clear who is in charge. That type of interview does nothing to enable a candidate to relax, showcase their skills and experience, or make them actually want to come to work for you.

The interview is your candidate’s first impression of your company, and it’s critical you use it to demonstrate that you care about your teams and your customers.

Help the candidate relax, offer them a drink, meet them at reception and have a chat about what they did at the weekend. Make it clear that there are no right or wrong answers, this is just a chance to get to know each other a little better.

Then explain what the interview process will look like. What will the format of today’s interview be? Will more than one interview be required? We relax more when we know what’s coming next.

If the interview has gone well, and you are impressed, don’t feel that you need to hide that. It doesn’t serve either of you to act like robot giving nothing away. You can always say something non-committal like “That was a great answer, thank you” without committing to offering the job.

Have a member of your team sit in

If the candidate is joining a team, it’s sometimes a good idea to get some feedback from someone in the team who understands the job role, and the team dynamic well. They are in an ideal position to give you their insight on which candidate they think would complement the existing skillsets in the team from a non-management perspective.

This also helps the team feel invested in finding the right candidate, helping to train them and in the overall goal of creating the best customer experience possible.

The second benefit is that you expose that member of staff to interview techniques, give them a chance to practice interviewing and increase their skillset and confidence for the future. It’s a win win!

However you decide to interview your candidates, have fun with it. Finding the right people to help achieve your customer goals is an exciting opportunity you can really enjoy!

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