"Hire slow. Fire fast." Probably one of the most well-known pieces of advice you'll hear from any experienced employer. While it may be tempting to hire the first person that fits the position, especially when you feel desperate, but patience is the best virtue when it comes to bringing on a new employee (for purposes of this column, "employee" can also be interchanged with a sub-contractor or even a vendor, like an accountant or virtual assistant, whichever applies best to your situation).
During an interview, you want to get as accurate a picture of the candidate. This can be difficult, especially if you're not an experienced interviewer; haven't had enough experience with employees to know what makes a strong employee in your business; or you're simply inquiring on experience and biographical information.
1. If you owned [insert your business name here], how would you improve the business?
This will tease their critical thinking skills, their ability to answer tactfully (being that they are speaking with the owner of the company; how do they phrase their response to still remain respectful to you) and should be a tell-tale sign if they spent time researching and trying to understand your business before the interview.
2. Other than [insert primary job function here, i.e. group ex, personal training, etc.] what would you consider your "zone of genius."
"Zone of genius" or their "superpower" basically referring to what they do where they feel their best self (or however you'd like to phrase this). Depending on the candidate's response, it could give you valuable insight in to their talents and interests that may be of value to you outside of just the job you are hiring (i.e. if they are creative and enjoy art/design, they could possibly assist with designing your next flyer, advertisement, brochure, etc.) On the other hand, if they have a difficult time responding, it may be an indication of lack of self-awareness.
3. How do you rely on others in order to make you better?
This is a great question because it opens the door to examining not only how one might be as part of a team, but it also lends itself to revealing self-awareness of a candidate. The best people you'll bring on are not the best at everything and can speak openly about their weaknesses.
The typical interview questions will give you typical information. It will serve you greatly to get a deeper understanding of who you're bringing on your team right from the start before investing your hard-earned time, money and energy.