As a business owner you're an expert on your products, your team, your market. What you very well not be an expert on is hiring. But Laszlo Bock is.
As Google's SVP of People Operations, Bock runs the search giant's hiring, sifting through some of the country's brightest minds to find those that are truly Google material. Given the caliber of talent coming through the door and the company's well known obsession with data, Bock's is the perfect perch from which to test and develop truly effective interview techniques.
Thankfully, Bock shares some of this accumulated wisdom in his recent book Work Rules! Business Insider's Richard Feloni recently went digging through Bock's book, unearthing several gems of advice for entrepreneurs. Among them is an unambiguous, science-backed suggestion for which type of interview questions work best.
Instantly more effective interviews
With research showing that unstructured interviews are poor predictors of a candidate's success, structure, Bock stresses, is essential. Therefore, interview questions at Google "are behavioral, dealing with past scenarios, and situational, dealing with hypothetical scenarios." (If you missed the revelation a few years ago, those brain teaser questions Google used to be known for are now out, labelled by Bock as "a complete waste of time.")
It's useful to know that these sort of behavioral questions are best, but for the busy entrepreneur that still leaves one very important part of the hiring equation unsolved. Exactly which ones should you ask? What makes Bock's advice so helpful is that he actually offers a resource where you can find the right interview questions, no matter what type of post you're hiring for. And better yet, it's totally free.
"He recommends looking at the questions included in the career resources section of the US Department of Veterans Affairs website," Feloni reports, quoting Bock: "Use them... You'll do better at hiring immediately." Here are a few examples of the sort of questions you'll find by following the link to the VA:
- "Tell me about two suggestions you have made to your supervisor in the past year. How did you come up with the ideas? What happened? How do you feel about the way things went?" (For creative thinking)
- "In the past, how have you obtained and incorporated customer feedback into your organization's planning and service standards? Give specific examples." (For customer service)
- "Describe a situation where you were responsible for getting others to make a change. What role did you play and what actions did you take? What was the outcome? If you had to do it again, would you do anything differently?" (For adaptability)
- "How does the work you are currently doing affect your organization's ability to meet its mission and goals? Do you think your work is important? If yes, why? If no, why not?" (For systems thinking)
The questions are broken down by the seniority of the position you're hiring for, as well as a variety of requisite skills. Check out the VA site for many more.