Interview Advice For COOs

Interview Advice For COOs

Many great COOs and leaders all possess an impressive list of skills. They’re great with numbers, have incredible vision of the future, boundless energy, positivity, and so much more. The problem is, out of all those skills, interviewing doesn’t tend to be one of them.

Maybe it’s because as self made business people, some of these COOs have been through so few interviews themselves. Maybe it’s because, without proper HR training they’re afraid they’ll break any of the plethoras of privacy laws that loom over the process. Either way, too many of these COOs and leaders don’t know how to interview right. This blog is here to help!

The Semi-Formal Group Interview

Skip the HR night classes and hold off on contracting that expensive recruiting firm you’ve been looking into. You can find out just about anything you need to know about potential employees during a semi-formal group interview. 

There is far more power than you’d expect in a group interview. The first of many benefits is that it cuts back on the amount of time you have to spend in interviews by helping you filter out who is worth it or not before scheduling them all for one-on-one interviews. If you want to hire A-players, you need at least 200 resumes for each position you’re looking to fill. The group interview helps you weed out a lot of the duds very quickly. 

“Not only does taking too much time to hire someone potentially cost you them entirely, but it will also cost you money. The more time given to your hiring process, the more money it’s going to cost you.” – COO Alliance 

The group interview also gives you instant insight into their leadership skills and the culture fit of each candidate. Remember, though, you aren’t necessarily trying to pinpoint the most suitable candidate in this portion of the process. You’re just screening for cultural fit.

The Power of Unique Questions

In the previously mentioned group interview, ask a question like, “What’s your favourite movie?” and see who steps up to answer first. They’ve all prepared for the standard interview questions, so curveballs like this really show who is confident, a quick thinker, and, most importantly, a strong leader.

“Instead of asking the same old job interview questions, try asking questions deserving of interesting answers. Candidates have been through the interview process multiple times and formed standard responses to typical questions. Questions that make them think bring out natural answers. That makes the conversation more insightful and less awkward.” – RecruiterBox

Also, when the interviewees are answering your questions, take note of who interrupts and monopolizes the time. That is a massive red flag to look out for.

The One-On-One Interview

Once you narrow down your list in the group interview, it’s time to get down to some serious, gritty, old-fashioned one-on-one interviewing to determine who can best fit the role you’re looking for.

In this interview, forget all the fluffy, HR-centric scenario questions. These almost always end in the interviewee saying that they think you want to hear. Instead, focus on specific questions that relate to your company and the candidate’s potential role within it.

Remember, there’s a certain amount of embellishment that goes on in any interview no matter what. Be sure to ask for proven experience and don’t be afraid to keep pressing if your gut tells you that something is amiss.

Always remember, interviewing is a two-way street. You are screening potential employees as much as they are screening you as a prospective place to work. Keep it professional, organized, and on point, and you’ll undoubtedly find the perfect fit.

If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2017 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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