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  • 23 July 2015
  • Eric Michaels

Five Must-Ask Job Interview Questions

Small business owners play every role in a company when they are getting started. You may find yourself equal parts innovator, accountant, and human resources chief in the first few months of operations alone. However, learning on the fly is not an option when hiring new employees. These choices matter.

Small businesses are only as strong as their employees, especially when the core group can be counted on one hand. When you start reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates, you need a system in place that increases your chances of success. Here are five must-ask interview questions for prospective employees:

You might find someone who can hit the ground running and help your business today.

1. Why are you the right candidate for the job?
With the answer to this question, you learn several things about a candidate. First, you learn how capable he or she is at assessing professional strengths and looking in the mirror. Second, you learn whether the candidate took the time to learn about your operation and decided he or she could help your business grow. Third, you will learn whether the candidate can articulate that vision in convincing terms. When you get a satisfying answer during an interview, you are on the right track.

2. What is your greatest source of motivation?
This question helps you understand the type of person you are considering for a position. You should be able to learn whether the applicant is motivated primarily by financial success, professional fulfillment, or some other drive.

Each source of motivation has its own positives and negatives, so consider the implications for your business. Someone driven by monetary success may help you jump-start revenues and be a valuable asset. Someone driven by professional success could help your company stand out when you are financially stable.

3. What excites you most about working for a small business?
Of the many important interview questions to ask job candidates, this one will help you decide whether someone has the potential to stay with you for the long haul. Frustrations may be high (and salaries relatively low) early in a company's development. This reality makes small business jobs right for certain candidates.

On the other hand, the rewards are often greater for those who want a stake in a company's success. The candidate's answer to this question offers insight into how he or she will fit in your growing business.

4. How would you react to an unresponsive vendor or equally frustrating development?

Adversity comes with the territory when you are growing a small business. This question helps you get a glimpse into the candidate's problem-solving skills. An unresponsive vendor or manufacturer can kill a company's momentum early in the game. How will this person manage that tough situation?

Name a highly frustrating scenario you have already experienced in your business and see what the candidate would do. You might find someone who can hit the ground running and help your business today.

5. If you end up more of a partner than employee, how will you involve staff members under you in important decisions?
Great company culture is built on trust and teamwork, and you can benefit greatly from employees who value the opinions of subordinates when making important company decisions. This trait indicates they consider everyone an equal stakeholder in the company mission, which in turn inspires every employee to do the best job possible.

Look for a candidate who can be selfless and put the business first when making decisions. It is a great way to inspire your team, and you should want candidates who feel the same way. Find out if you have that person during the interview.

Asking the right interview questions will increase your chances of hiring a candidate who shares your values and will contribute to your company's success. If you are having trouble finding the right people for your business, The UPS Store can help. Ask about special deals from Hyrell that can help when recruiting gets tough.

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