It’s really simple to hire people based on their raw talent for a particular job. What’s even harder is hiring someone who can excel, invigorate, and flourish within your business. I will outline some ideas to sharpen your hiring process and discover the hidden gems you need:

Rethink your plans

No one loves the hiring process. It’s like hunting for an apartment or house – completely exhausting until you find that perfect candidate. Employing extra pre-interview screening methods is a simple way to avoid people that end up being a waste of time.

One handy trick is to have each applicant fill out a custom survey. You can create a ten question survey in Google Docs, and it can be a successful way at trimming the fat.

By making applicants take that extra pre-interview survey, you can quickly see how enthusiastic they are about it. One more thing, by asking them a couple of questions, you can see remarkable differences between them and the person on paper.

Understand what makes your company different
Being mindful of the features of your company is critical when it comes to the hiring process. If you’re not honest about the company you created, you’ll find it difficult to find candidates that are a perfect match.

Understand what sets you apart from the pack. Some companies, for example, have cultures that are aggressive – statements always questioned, arguments proposed. In this situation, you want to hire someone who’s at ease when explaining their opinion, someone who won’t withdrawl in the heat of the moment.

Other businesses are very close, with employees using their free time with other employees. If you hire someone who doesn’t fit in with work and play, it’s likely that they’ll feel like an outcast. At this point, you want to see how much the applicant sets their personal life apart.
Whatever the abilities are, you’ll want to customize your interview questions to get a feel of the person. Which brings us to the next section…

Ask the better questions
Now that you run your own show, you are probably looking for people who are positive and creative within their titles. Here are some guidelines to follow that bring out those characteristics in an interview:

Bring out their ability to speak clearly
The ability to speak clearly and to pass on vital information is an asset for all applicants. You can usually see this capability by having an applicant describe a simple task. If you are hiring a Network Administrator, for example, you may ask them something like, “Describe the process of setting up a shared network.” It doesn’t have to be a difficult question, just one that brings out their ability to speak clearly and in a nutshell.

See how creative they are
Ask about their past, where the applicant was creative. Have them talk about how and why they founded that club, charity, or video series listed on their resume. You can gauge how well they will do in the future by asking them questions like: “What would you do differently if you owned the business?” or “What are some things you would change about our product or service if you had the opportunity to do so?”

Ask them no right answer questions
Don’t concentrate on leading questions, or questions that have only one correct answer. Instead, ask something that is in the middle of right and wrong, and shows what character the applicant has. For position in management, as good question may be, “How would handle an angry customer who won’t stop spamming our message board?”

Test their curiosity
A high functioning level of curiosity is a leading indicator of other positive qualities, such as ingenuity, problem-solving, and imagination. You can see if the applicant possess such characteristics with a question like, “Tell me something new you taught yourself?” or “What is your favorite book, and why?”

Watch out for warning signs
One way to get an applicant to show their true nature is to mix up the standard interview. There are many angles to work from: one company has an applicant play a board game, another invites them to an event, while yet another takes them out to dinner. All of these situations increase your ability to see how well they handle stress, their ability to work as one, or to keep the situation as professional as possible.