In the fast-paced world of small business hiring, entrepreneurs often find themselves grappling with outdated interview practices that prioritize personality over qualifications. In a recent podcast episode featuring Gene Marks and Madeline Mann, CEO and Career Coach at Self Made Millennial, several strategies and resources were discussed to enhance the efficiency and objectivity of the hiring process. Here’s a concise breakdown of the key highlights:

  • Objective Interviewing:
    • Build a scorecard with specific skills, traits, and competencies.
    • Define expectations for good, okay, and bad answers to questions.
    • Assign interview panel members specific topics or competencies to avoid repetition.
    • Take immediate notes to prevent bias and ensure accurate evaluation.
  • Structured Interviews:
    • Conduct interviews with consistent questions to reduce biases.
    • Be transparent about interview location and conditions to help candidates prepare.
  • Providing Questions in Advance:
    • Pros: Gives candidates a chance to excel, especially those not skilled in interviews.
    • Cons: May compromise the authenticity of responses.
  • AI (Artificial Intelligence) in Hiring:
    • Utilize AI in the online application process to streamline resume screening.
    • Leverage one-way interview tools using AI to assess candidate responses and rank based on relevance.
  • Appropriate Interview Behavior:
    • Dress professionally, whether in-person or virtually.
    • Avoid questions that may disclose protected class identities.
  • Rapport Building Topics:
    • Sports teams, hobbies, and cities mentioned in the candidate’s resume.
  • Resume Usage During Interviews:
    • Set aside resumes for skill-based evaluations.
    • Keep resumes handy for “Who” interviews focusing on past experiences.
  • Multiple Interviews:
    • Hold initial interviews for skill confirmation before detailed discussions.
    • Avoid using multiple interviews as a stalling tactic.
  • Recording Interviews:
    • Be transparent about filming, providing a legitimate reason to ease candidate concerns.
  • Less Stressful Hiring Process:
    • Inform applicants about upcoming interview expectations.
    • Send kind rejection emails to soften the impact of non-selection.

By incorporating these strategies and embracing modern tools like AI, small business owners can streamline their hiring processes, make informed decisions, and create a more inclusive and stress-free experience for candidates.

How Can Business Owners Conduct More Effective Interviews? (

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