The 7 Step Interview Process

Hiring a winner feels great, and it makes life easier.  Hiring a loser is costly.  If you are the owner, it’s going to cost you money and reputation.  If you are a manager, it could cost you your job.

Hiring a loser is a choice, and so is hiring a winner.  Most people make the choice of a bad hire because it is easier on the front side.

If you want to hire a winner, then you are going to have to put in extra work in the interview process.  Follow theses 7 Steps, and you will hire a winner the next time you need someone in your service company.

[This is part 3 of 3.  You can read Part 1 here: The 3 Critical Don’ts of an Interview, and part 2 here:  The 8 Keys to Landing Your Dream Job.]

Step 1:  Do we like each other?

Your first meeting should be a “get to know each other meeting.”  You are answering the question, “Do I like this person?”

I’ve heard some managers say, “I don’t have to like him as long as he produces.”

With all due respect, that’s bull-crap! 

I’m not saying you have to like the person all the time.  But you do need to like the person most of the time.

If the two of you can’t get along, the relationship isn’t going to last.

Step 2:  Complete a DISC Profile and Background Check

If you decide that you like the person, you then need to perform your background checks and job profile checks.

A good background check is necessary to keep criminals out of your company. 

A good DISC profile will help you in the interview process in 4 distinct ways:

  1. The DISC Profile:  will tell you “How” a person listens and talks to others.
  2. The Values Profile: will show you “What” motivates a person to go to work.
  3. The Core Attributes Profile:  will warn you of the “Hidden Character Flaws.”
  4. The Job Profile: will show you if the person has the natural attributes for the position.

As an organization, we use the DISCover Advanced Insights Profile with all of our clients and students.

We use it because it is highly effective, and easy to understand.  As of the writing of this blog, we have administered 3,316 profiles for our clients and affiliates.

If you are interested in using our system, then you can DISCOVER MORE here:  The DISCover Advanced Insight Profile System.

Step 3:  Skill check

The skill check will be your 2nd face to face interview.  During this interview process, you are going to check the stated ability of the person against reality.

For the Sales Position, have the person sell something to you.  One of my favorite tests of sales skills is to have the interviewee sell me a color from a color wheel.  This checks his ability to build value and sale the intangible items. 

For the Tech Position, have the person perform a service task.  You can vary the nature of the task and the difficulty level based on the position.

This procedure works great for administrative positions as well.

If the person passes your test, you are going to want to hire them on the spot, but WAIT!  You need to do the next steps.  Or don’t wait.  Go ahead and hire the person, and regret the future.

Step 4:  Check references

If you don’t check references, you are leaving yourself open to surprises.  Reference checking will provide you with the information only a past employer can give. 

Vital Reference Information 

  1. Does this person have wild mood swings?
  2. Is this person consistent in his work and sales ability?
  3. Is he a team player?
  4. What concerns do you have about the person?

Before you start telling me why the previous employer can’t tell you the answers to your questions, you should just ask yourself the following:

“What if he does tell me the answers to my questions?  What will I learn?  And, if he won’t tell me, what can I learn from his silence?”

Step 5:  The “Tough Interview”

This is meeting #3.  The interviewee only makes it to meeting #3 because you really want to hire him.  However, keep that to yourself for now.  You still have a very important task to perform.

You need to deliver “The Tough Interview!”

The Tough Interview is designed to test the level of desire and fight in the candidate.

There are many ways to accomplish the tough interview, but I have found that one simple statement works best,

“What If I told you that ‘I didn’t feel this interview was going well,’ what would you say?”

If the candidate folds like a wet napkin, then he probably doesn’t have much fight in him.  And you need a fighter in a service company.  This business is not for the weak.

If the candidate passes this test, then its time to meet the significant other.

Step 6:  Family meeting

The next step is to get to know the significant other.  You have to know that the other person’s partner is in full support of this new career.

Your candidate can be awesome, but if he is partnered with an unsupportive crazy person, then he won’t be successful.

Always pass on a candidate with an unsupportive life partner.

Step 7:  Close the deal

If you have made it to this step, it is time to close the deal!  By now, you are pretty confident that you have a winner on your hands.  It’s time to negotiate the work agreement, get this person trained, and put him to work.

Here are a few keys to negotiating a great mutual agreement for both of you:

  1. Have a clearly laid out list of expectations for your candidate to sign.  We call that list of expectations The Key Result Areas.  If you don’t have KRAs in your company, you can get a free copy to modify with this link: The Key Result Areas.
  2. Establish Performance Pay.  Winners are always going to make way more than the going hourly rate on the street.  So, start off with performance pay.  It’s going to be the best way to assure that your winner earns what he’s worth.
  3. Use On-Ramp Periods as necessary.  Some of your candidates are going to have a longer on-ramp period than others.  Such as the comfort advisor that is new to the HVAC industry.  Don’t be afraid to give that person an on-ramp period (or base) while he learns.  I do recommend that all bases are to be paid back to the company over the course of the first employment year.
  4. Train, Train, and Train Some More.  Champions that stand on the Podium of Life spend a lot of time in the training room.  This is true for athletes, and it is also true for service professionals.  If you have a winner on your hands, he is going to demand training.  We offer the best training in the industry.  Our PRESS PLAY Training Series for Techs, Sales, and Managers produces huge results.  You can book your next winner into a program using this link: Training Series.

Hiring a winner isn’t an accident.  It’s a very intentional act.  It takes time, strategy, and hard work to hire the best in the business.

Question:  What do you look for in a winner? Please comment and share on  and .

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