3 Interview Questions You Need to Ask
By Sara Hey
When I start talking to dealers about hiring, something typically happens. First, their eyes glaze over, and I hear the words, “But, Sara, I can never find good people.”
Every one of us has baggage; the interview process is simply how we uncover what baggage you may not want to bring into your dealership.
Before you get started, there are three tools you need to complete the interview process. You probably already have all three, so don’t rush to Amazon yet. A legal pad, a pen, and last, but probably most importantly, the ability to not talk when there is silence. Oof, that last one hurt, didn’t it?
While there are many questions you can ask during an interview that will tell you about the person’s skill level and critical thinking ability, we will focus on three questions that will help you better understand them.
1. The blank check question
When we help dealers find people for their dealerships through our Dealer Success Group program, the first question we ask is one that allows us to start learning. We simply say, “I want you to tell me about yourself; you can start anywhere and end anywhere.” Ask the question, pick up your legal pad, and stop talking!
We find when you ask this question, a couple of things happen. First, the candidate will start to relax. You didn’t try to trick them with a question, but gave them a chance to talk about what they know best: themselves. When the guards come down, you will be able to get a better picture of the person.
Second, they will share about their family or challenges they are going through during that season. We aren’t holding any of this information against them, but simply understanding them better.
2. The best friend question
Once we have developed some rapport, another important question in uncovering baggage is one I like to call the Best Friend question. This question has three parts and is intended to start a conversation.
The first part of the question is, “What is the first name of your best friend?” How they respond to this will tell you how well they were listening and what level of detail they picked up. Often you will get a first and last name, which isn’t what you asked for but gives you some clues about your candidate.
Next, ask, “Of all the people you know, why are they your best friend?” Generally, when you ask this question, you will uncover more about your candidate.
Finally, “What are five words that person would use to describe you?” At its core, how the candidate answers this is really what they think about themselves, not what their friend would say.
3. The background check question
The last question I ask every candidate is, “If I were to complete a background check, is there anything that might come up that you would want me to know about now?” First, I would always encourage you to do a background check; but secondly, if there is something on the record, I would rather have them be honest with me than find it out after the fact.
The hiring process is integral to your business, even though it is often a time-consuming process. As an owner or a manager, it’s critical that you understand who you are bringing onto your team! These three questions can help you find out the valuable information you need to make the correct decisions.
The author is Vice President of Business Development and a speaker at Bob Clements, International.
Subscribe to equip Magazine
To receive a digital version of equip magazine, please provide your email address.