Do You Know When To Talk And What To Say When You’re Face To Face With High Impact Talent (HIT®)?


Interviewing Tips for Mid-Market Business Owners.


Well now now darlin’ may I
have a little talk with you…”


So, let’s just lay it on the line like Stevie Ray Vaughn did so well:


Most business owners and executives will admit they’re not well suited to conduct interviews, especially with High Impact Talent (HIT). They get nervous, talk in circles and try to pump up the volume about their company and how great the opportunity is.


All among the biggest mistakes you can make as a business owner “courting” HIT prospects. Some of it may be ego. Sometimes it’s just not something you feel you’re good at doing. Most often it’s because there is no rigor to the process of hiring.


So today I’m going to lay out some guidelines and interviewing tips to help you develop an efficient and exhaustive interviewing process; one that will exponentially increase your chances to get exactly the right talent you need.


Schedule The Interview, Quickly.

One of the best ways to let HIT slip through your fingers is to take too long to get through your process.  The best people aren’t going to just wait until you or your assistant get around to it. If they’re truly High Impact Talent, they will be snapped up. And you had better be on the ball if you want to be one the who does the snapping. Your entire process from the first contact to offer should be 2-3 weeks – tops.

Set The Agenda.

Be the one who has control of the time and the agenda. Yes, you want to give your best candidates a good chunk of your time. Not too much and certainly not too little. It helps to write an agenda with everything YOU want to get. But mostly what you want to get is them talking and you listening.


Tell Them Exactly What To Expect.

You have to let them know what to expect … the length of time, the topics you want to cover, room for free-form discussion – whatever it is. Set up the expectations. They will appreciate your attention to detail because it shows discipline, leadership, and interest. It will set you apart from other potential suitors.


Be Consistent.

Going “from the gut” may sound confident but it’s usually an interview killer. You want to be consistent (back to the agenda) in everything you say, ask or do. Believe me, smart, savvy talent have good intuition and will recognize and file inconsistencies. Yes, be confident, but stick to the “script” and you will get a better read of your talent and you will start to recognize red flags AND great answers.


Don’t. Start. Talking.

Don’t lead the conversation. Ever. You are making a big decision about the growth of your company that involves a lot of money and want to know what you’re buying. You want them to tell YOU why they’re there, what they can do for you and how they would be a good fit for your growth plans. So don’t start describing the role. If they are there, that box showed have been checked early in the process.  Besides, again the candidates are smart these days and can artfully parrot back to your answers based on what you divulge to them. Play it cool. Listen. A lot. Ask questions but don’t go down a conversational rabbit hole.


Look For Specificity.

If you ever hear the words “I exceeded expectations”, shut down the interview right away. Okay, maybe that’s drastic. But look for specificity in their answers. Sure, they beat their goals. Doesn’t everybody?  (Answer: no). Ask them what the challenges were, what the performance metrics and indicators were.  What were the challenges and obstacles?  What was their strategy and how did they manage their role and their staff? Whatever it is that is specific to what YOU need to feel comfortable.


Let Us Be Your Interview Guru.

At KeyHire, we have the interviewing tips, strategies, tools, and tactics to help with everything on this list. Interviewing isn’t something that comes naturally to most people. It’s okay. We can help define and refine and deploy a process that works just right for you and what you’re looking for.  You can learn more about creating an efficient and exhaustive recruiting process by reading our article “Livin’ On A Prayer” – What Is Your Recruiting Strategy?


We’ll talk more about interviewing tips over the next few weeks.


In the meantime, stayed tuned in your talent.


tune into talent




Corey Harlock
Principal Consultant


Make Your Business Rock!

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