Hiring Interview

This week, one of our main assignments was to interview someone who is in charge of hiring in their organization (outside of healthcare) about the hiring process. I chose to interview Brian Nelson, co-owner of Blue Valley Insurance. Brian has owned his own company for over 10 years and has had a lot of experience with hiring employees.

Interview questions and summarized responses

How do you usually prepare for an interview with potential employees? Write down the questions. Check their FB. Review their resume. Call references.
How many candidates do you like to interview before making a selection and how much time do you allow for each interview? 15-30 min depending on how well it’s going. Til I find the right one.
What do you believe are the most important questions to ask or most important characteristics to look for when interviewing a candidate? I need to find out what their future/future goals looks like (I don’t wanna hire someone for just 3 months). Why they want the job. Teachable, Personable, Problem Solver.
Do you prefer group setting interviews (multiple interviewers and multiple interviewees) or one-on-one interviews? Me and my partner with the one candidate.
What causes you to pick the candidates you do? (I.e what resumes stand out?) -Personality is #1 because we are a small office and we all need to get along and get along with the clients.
How do you advertise the position? Lds jobs. FB. Word of mouth.
What characteristics or answers would cause you to cut an interview short? Know-it-all. Acted like they didn’t want the job.
Is it important to you to make the applicant at ease? What do you do to make them feel more comfortable? Yes, because when they’re comfortable they answer questions more honestly. Joke around a little bit.
Do you attempt to establish a rapport with the applicant at the beginning of the interview? Yes, for the same reason as above.
What is your process after an applicant has left your office? Call references. Evaluate with partner.
Do you prefer a structured interview or unstructured interview format? In the middle. Not too formal, but still an interview interaction.
Have you ever hired a candidate on the spot?  What was their response that made you know they were the best candidate? No. I would if somebody trusted really really highly recommended.
Do you ever make judgments on candidates based on how the look, how they are dressed or their social media accounts? Yes, yes and yes. Obviously how they look and act influences the desire to have them work with me.
Do you ask each candidate the same set of questions? No. It varies depending on how the interview goes.
Do you ever offer the candidate feedback after the interview is complete? No. I can’t waste time on people who I am not going to hire.

Outcomes- What I Learned: Interviewing Brian gave me a really good idea of what it is like to have to interview and hire people. I also got a good idea of what things some hiring managers might feel are most important when choosing who to hire. I thought it was interesting, because the things Brian felt are most important, are not the things I was expecting. In nursing, I assume that one of the most important things is experience and knowledge. I assume the hiring manager wants to know that the nurse they hire is a good, competent nurse. I realized, however, that different jobs and different companies are in need of different things. Brian said that in his business, experience doesn’t matter very much at all. He said that they can train their employees on the job, and although past experience might be helpful, it really isn’t needed. Instead, the very most important thing to him is simply the right personality. Because he has a small office with relatively few employees, he needs people who will work well together and who will work well with the clients. For him, that is number one! I also thought it was interesting that he regularly checks candidates Facebook accounts as part of the process. He also said that he always called references. Sometimes he calls before the interview, sometimes after, and sometimes in between multiple interviews; but he always calls. He also stressed to me the importance of hiring the right person. He doesn’t set a cap on how many people to interview, he says he just interviews until he finds the right person. Brian also taught me the importance of helping the candidate feel comfortable. I thought that maybe you might want to establish some sort of hierarchy, in the sense making sure the candidate knows you are the boss. However, Brian explained that you want teamwork in the office, and also the more comfortable a person feels with you, the more honestly they will answer questions. This is how he is able to really see what a candidate is like, by helping them feel comfortable enough to be themselves.

Summary: Overall, it was really fun to talk to someone who has had experience having to hire people. Some of the things we discussed have really stuck with me. Specifically, the importance of the right personality that will mesh well with the team, and also helping the candidate feel comfortable during the interview so that they act themselves and answer honestly, were the main take-aways for me. I will definitely be implementing these things into my process when I am in a position to interview and hire people. 

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