3 Interviewing Tips for Local Business Owners

Unsuccessful Job Applicant

David Blackwell via Compfight


As a local business owner I often find myself looking for talented individuals to join our team. Over the years I have interviewed a number of candidates and I’ve found that three things shape my hiring decisions.

Are they hungry?

Whether your business is high-tech or low stress, employees who want to better themselves and continue to learn are valuable to an organization. Here are a few questions I ask during the interview to make sure the applicant has the drive to take on whatever projects are needed to get the job done:

  1. What factors are crucial within an organization and must be present for you to work most effectively?
  2. Would you provide some examples of the forward thinking ideas/agendas you were trying to promote at your last position?
  3. How would you describe your work style?

It’s a gut thing.

First impressions really are powerful. Trust your instincts. You’ll likely get a feel for a candidate within the first three minutes. If that isn’t the case for you, ask a few questions that will give you a better feel for a candidate’s attitude and understanding of the position you are hiring for.

  1. What attracted you to our company?
  2. Why are you leaving your current position?
  3. What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?

Be willing to wait.

Don’t rush into a bad hire because you believe there isn’t a better fit. Waiting for the right person is always a wiser decision than hiring, training and then losing the wrong person … and then starting the process over again. If you’re striking out, consider the following to reach a new a pool of applicants:

  1. Are you posting your job listing on the best career sites for your industry?
  2. Is there another job title that might appeal to a different group of applicants?
  3. Does your job description need more punch or clarity?

These interviewing tips consistently work for me. What are you doing to attract and identify the best talent for your company?

How NOT to Become a Local Business Statistic

Local business statistic

flickr by marsmet544

Did you ever think that running your own business would be as hard and time consuming as it has ultimately become? I don’t think it matters if it’s just you or if you’re running a local business with multiple employees, the personal commitment is truly overwhelming and completely exhilarating at the same time. I never stop thinking and believing that I’m going to make this work.

Yes, it’s hard; but if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

That’s right. You’re like me: big plans, big dreams and not enough resources to get you there. All I can say is don’t give up. With that, here’s a few things I’m currently working on so that my local business doesn’t become a statistic:

1. Never stop.

Your mental framework is the basis of your daily productivity.  Here are some questions I’m constantly asking myself to keep on track:

  • How did others do it?
  • Who’s in my network that can help me?
  • What do we NOT do?

2. Grow daily.

How can you spend less and get more? Can you be more efficient with your time? What is someone else doing that you can emulate to be more productive? Is there technology or software that will get you further down the road? If you’re always looking to be better, then you’re always looking to the future and never settling for where you are.

 3. Sell it.

Can you explain your business in 30 seconds? If not, you need to reevaluate to ensure you don’t become a statistic. I had to reconsider my businesses’ original name as it was confusing and stopped the conversation. So take it from me and make your product or service easy to explain.

4. Empower your team.

If you’re like me, you hate being micro-managed. I always told myself that when I was “the boss,” I would empower, not suffocate. With that, I’ve found that my team is more motivated and produces better work when I get out of their way.

Well, there you have it, a little business philosophy on how not to become a local business statistic. I’m not saying by doing these four things you will succeed, but I do feel you will be heading in the right direction. Please let me know your thoughts. Let’s share our successes and failures so we can all learn from one another.

What are you doing to not become a local business statistic?

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