September 18, 2008

Interviewing Future Employees

Many small business collect a lot of information. It is unfortunate that with so much information that small businesses collect it is very difficult for them to use the information optimally. While collecting information is easy, analyzing information can be very difficult if you do not have a database. Here are some tips on using a database to analyze and organize your small business information.

There are many different types of databases applications that you can use, one of the easiest is MS Access. If you already own MS office, then there is a good chance that you also have MS Access. MS Access has received great grades from many people for organizing and analyzing information. For instance, wouldn't it be great to keep track of all your sales, so you can see when the best business time of year is for you or at what hours of each day you sell the most. You can do this very easily.

You can even pinpoint the customers that buy your products by age, location and gender. This would be great information to have when starting an advertising campaign. Many people are blown away at how powerful a database can be for their business. The best part about databases is that they are very easy to use and incredibly easy to sort information. For instance, MS Access offers premade databases for many common small databases use such as product inventory, customer forms and shipping details. So if you have a small business, look into small business databases.
If you have been in business for any amount of time, you have learned that hiring new employees is an art form. You have to be extremely careful, especially considering that potential employees will put their best front forward when interviewing. You have to be able to see through the fronts they put up, and really find out whether or not they are right for you business. Unless you master this, you will have some bad situations on your hands.

So what can you do to ensure, or at least improve your chances of getting good employees? The key is to be prepared before hand, and to answer the right questions.

Your preparation should begin long before the employee arrives. You should have a substantial amount of information about the person from their application. Review this information thoroughly.

Most applications ask for job history. I recommend that you call these places, not only to verify that the potential employee actually worked there, but also as a character reference.

Most applications also ask for personal references. Call these references and ask specific questions. Pay attention to their answers, especially if they seem to be the exact same, as this may be a sign that they were couched beforehand.

The Interview

Once you have reviewed the employee's application and decide that they may be right for your company, the next step is get them to your business for the interview.

Have a notepad handy so that you can take notes. You may even want to consider using a recording device as well. A voice recorder will come into handy if you forget parts of the interview.

Talents and Skills

You must remember that talents and skills are not only developed in the workplace. A childhood interest may have bloomed a passion for something that no workplace could create. Because of this, you will want to examine what was gained from every aspect of their life.

Character and Personality

One important thing that you have to remember when interviewing a potential employee is the fact that each person has their own character traits and personality. It is up to you to learn as much as you can about this person's personality, and how it will relate to your business. You will want to find out if a character trait will conflict with your business before hiring the person, as it could cause problems later on.

Questions to ask

What have you learned from previously successful times in your life?
What have to learned from a time in your life when you were down?
Did you learn from mistakes?
What interested you the most as a child?
Can you name one specific hobby or interest that carried over into your adult life?
What skill or talent would you consider to be your best?
What have you learned from others?
What work experience taught you the most?

You should never hire someone on the spot, but instead you should take time to reflect on the interview and your notes. This will give you a chance to analyze exactly how you think this person would perform in your business. You may come across something that you did not notice beforehand.

Once you have decided that you will hire the person, call them with the good news and hope for the best!