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Learn2 Hire Employees (continued)
Step 5: Develop interview questions

Preparing ahead for the interview will keep you clear of any possible legal swamps (remember those inappropriate questions) and can make all the difference in how well you understand the applicant. As you develop your questions, keep these guidelines in mind:

Skills questions. If the duties involve any expertise that you won't provide training for, check the skills the applicant claims to have by asking specific questions relating to the field.

Performance questions. You also want to know how they work, so create a few hypothetical business scenarios and ask how the applicants would behave within them. For example, how would they deal with a stressful workload, an angry customer or coworker, or solving a problem particular to your business? You can also ask if the person has ever experienced such a situation, and have him or her talk about that.

Enthusiasm questions. An interested worker is a hard worker. To gauge their enthusiasm in your business, ask what they think of the business, the industry, what they like, what they have questions about, what they think could be improved, and, of course, why they want to work there. The more they've done their homework, the more interest they're likely to have.

Stale questions. There's a long list of these: "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" "Where do you see yourself in ten years?" "What quality do you admire most?" and so on. They can be effective, but if you want to avoid answers that are just as overused, try to rephrase the questions in fresh ways. Tailor them to your business needs, or to the specific experiences of the applicant.

Current work. Asking about their current or most recent work experience can shed light on work habits and what they expect from you as an employer. Why are they looking for a new job? What skills from their last experience will apply to this position? What was their biggest challenge? You can also ask what their salary was--information that may help you decide on a salary offer.

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Step 1: Assess your needs
Step 2: Write a job description
Step 3: Advertise the position
Step 4: Review the applications
Step 5: Develop interview questions
Step 6: Interview candidates
Step 7: Narrow your choices
Step 8: Check references