Posts Tagged ‘Interns’

The 10 Best Interview Questions of All Time

??????????????????????????????????????????While unemployment is the lowest in 5 years, it is still challenging to find the best employees for your company. Not only do they need the skills to perform their job well, but they also have to fit within the company’s culture.

To hire the perfect people, it’s important to ask the right questions. This is a challenge for many small business owners because they typically talk more than the job candidate or they just ask questions which review their resume. Here are the best 10 questions to ask:

  1. Tell me about yourself. This is always a good introductory question. Ask and then don’t say another thing until they are done. What they actually say is not critical, but how they answer this question is. Do they focus on personal or professional details? How do they see themselves? Does this view fit into the culture of the company.
  2. Tell me about a time when…Many job candidates can talk in generalities about their skills and accomplishments. However, asking for a specific example is a much more effective why to discover what they have really achieved. For example, when interviewing a sales candidate, ask “Tell me about a time when you won a customer from a competitor.”
  3. How will you contribute to the company? This will highlight their goals for the specific job and which of their skills would be most beneficial for the company. It also will tell you how they see themselves as part of a team. Remember, their goals should match the company’s. When they deviate, employees leave.
  4. What is a specific example of the biggest professional challenge you have faced? How a candidate faces adversity is key. Even if a project didn’t go as planned, it’s important to find out how the applicant would reacted and would remedy the problem in the future.
  5. Test them. In a professional setting, these are typically hypothetical situations or ones that have actually occurred at the company. They should demonstrate job-specific and problem solving skills. Don’t be afraid to ask them to solve problems they would face in the first month of their job at the actual interview.
  6. Why are you here? Andrew Alexander, President of Red Roof Inn, says it helps reveal what the person’s passion is. The applicant should want to work at the company, not just want a job. Employees that are passionate about the company’s mission excel at their position.
  7. What is your ideal job? Liz Bingham, Partner at Ernst & Young, says it helps match if the person is suitable for the open job. It reveals what their passions and strengths are.
  8. What areas of improvement were identified in your last job review? Andrew Shapin, CEO of Long Tall Sally, says it can show self-awareness and weaknesses when people answer this question honestly.
  9. Where’s your passion? Hilarie Bass, co-president of Greenberg Traurig, says they only hire people who are passionate about that profession. It helps attract committed employees that will make the business successful.
  10. How do you measure success? This answer will tell you what the candidate values and if it matches the job compensation structure.

What are your favorite interview questions?

Nextiva Tuesday Tip: Hiring Summer Interns

Summer is a bit more than a week away and college students are out of school. What does that mean to your business? It could mean the answer to your short-term labor woes, because plenty of students are eager to land summer internships.

Is hiring summer interns right for you? Not if you think interns are a source of free labor that you can use to fetch coffee, make copies and pick up your dry cleaning. Unpaid internships are illegal in many states, and even in states where they are allowed, you must meet a six-factor test (check out the Department of Labor’s website for details).

internshipPaid or unpaid, internships must provide some type of job training and education to the intern, which means you need to commit to offering the intern meaningful work, guiding them and supervising them. If you can do that, an internship can be a great solution for your business.

Want to get started? Act now. Contact nearby colleges and universities to find out the requirements for their internship programs. If you’re open to a virtual internship, you can post openings on job sites such as

Whether your internship is virtual or in-office, be prepared to provide lots of supervision. Make sure interns clearly understand their duties, deadlines and roles.  Keep in mind some interns may have never been in the work force before, so you may need to set expectations for basic standards such as arriving on time, dressing professionally and use of social media. Provide constant feedback and regular communication so the interns always know how they’re doing.

Wise use of an internship program can not only solve your short-term hiring needs, but also create lasting relationships with talented students who may want to work for your business full-time when they graduate. Now, that’s a win-win situation. 

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