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The 7 Step Interview Process For Hiring A Winner

By Todd Liles The 7 Step Interview Process For Hiring A Winner
woman holding out hand during job interview

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

Hiring a loser is a choice – so is hiring a winner. Most people make the choice of a bad hire because it’s easier on the front side and maybe because they don’t have a fail-proof hiring process for the trades.

If you want to hire a winner, then you’re going to have to put in extra work in the interview process. Follow these steps, and you’ll hire a winner the next time you need someone in your service company.

two people shaking hands at a job interview

Step 1: Is The Candidate Likeable?

Your first meeting should be a “get to know each other” meeting.  You’re 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 a dangerous line of thinking. 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. The fact is, if the two of you can’t get along, the relationship isn’t going to last.

Invest some time into coming up with the questions you think are important to be aligned on. These could be things that are as simple as world views or tastes, but you need to find some common ground to go off of.

Step 2: Complete A Disc Profile And Background Check

If you decide you like your candidate, you need to perform background checks and job profile checks next. A good background check is necessary to keep criminals out of your company and ensure you aren’t inviting risk into your business. 

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

  • The DISC Profile:  Tells you “How” a person listens and talks to others
  • The Values Profile: Shows you “What” motivates a person to go to work
  • The Core Attributes Profile:  Warns you of the “Hidden Character Flaws”
  • The Job Profile: Shows you if the person has the natural attributes for the position

As an organization, we use the DISCover Advanced Insights Profile with all our clients and trainees. We use it because it’s highly effective and easy to understand. If you’re interested in using our system, then you can DISCOVER MORE here: The DISCover Advanced Insight Profile System.

If you’re having trouble determining what the DISC results mean or how they fit into your hiring process, let our coaches help you out! Our PRESS PLAY trainees receive an in-depth training on how to read DISC profiles to find the team members they need.

Step 3: Skill Check

The skill check will be your second face-to-face interview. During this interview process, you’re going to check the stated ability of your candidate 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 their ability to build value and sell 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’re going to want to hire them on the spot, but WAIT! Just because the candidate shows promise and can do what they claim they can doesn’t mean they’re the best fit for your team. You need to do the next steps or risk hiring the wrong candidate.

Step 4: Check References

Reference checking may seem like a practice that is going out of style, but if you don’t check references, you’re leaving yourself open to surprises. Reference checking will provide you with the information only a past employer can give — positive or negative. 

Vital Reference Information 

  • Does this person exhibit mood swings?
  • Is this person consistent in their work and sales ability?
  • Are they a team player?
  • What concerns do you have about this 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 they do tell me the answers to my questions? What will I learn? And, if they won’t tell me, what can I learn from his silence?”

The very best candidate could be hiding a past indiscretion or negative history, Do your due diligence by attempting to contact any references provided to you.

Step 5: The “Tough Interview”

This is meeting number three. The interviewee only makes it to meeting number three because you really want to hire them. 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 they probably don’t have much fight in them. And you need a fighter in a service company. This industry is not for the weak. If the candidate passes this test, then it’s time to move forward to see if their personal life aligns with their goals.

Step 6:  Family Meeting

While a candidate’s personal life isn’t a direct indicator of their ability to do their job well, it’s an important aspect of their life. If you really want to invest in the right team member, you have to show interest in what matters to them. This usually means their significant other or family. 

Our team highly recommends meeting the spouse, partner or significant other of the candidate before offering the position — especially if it’s a higher-level member of the team that will be in some form of leadership.

You have to know that the candidate’s partner is in full support of this new career. Request a meet and greet – this can be a formal meeting, a sit-down meal or whatever style of meeting you prefer. Let your candidate know where you’ll be meeting so they can inform their partner about the appropriate dress code.

Meeting your candidate’s significant other can be very telling. Your candidate can be awesome, but if they’re partnered with an unsupportive or irrational person, then they may not be successful in the long run. Always pass on a candidate with an unsupportive life partner.

Step 7: Close The Deal

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

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

  • Sign The Key Result Areas. 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.
  • 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 they’re worth.
  • Use On-Ramp Periods As Needed. 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 they learn. 
  • 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, they are 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. Here at Service Excellence, we’re committed to training, coaching and consulting the best clients in the industry. So when you want results, look no further, because we IGNITE THE POWER WITHIN! 

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