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Interview Fears

Lesson 27 from: Create a Hiring Plan & Grow your Standout Business

Tara McMullin

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Lesson Info

27. Interview Fears

Lesson Info

Interview Fears

What fears do you have about interviewing? I mean, I started interviewing people probably, how old would I have been, 22, 23? And I think I got a kick out of it on a control level. (laughing) I have control over whether you get this job or not, just to be clear. But at the same time, it was really scary. I can't even think about what the specific fears that I might have had but just the idea that the person I... Especially working for a larger company, it's not just me who has to deal with this person, it's all of these people who have to deal with this person. Are they going to be a good addition to our team or not? Are they gonna bring us all down? That's probably my number one fear when it comes to interviewing. The weight. Yeah. The decision that's ahead of you, yeah. And so, are you gonna ask the right questions? Exactly, that's what I was gonna say. You know, are you gonna uncover the hidden secrets, that could impact your whole team and your whole organization, and your client...

s? Yeah. Yeah. What other fears do you guys have about interviewing? I think, just playing off what she said. Just making sure that you ask all of the questions. Then, all of a sudden, you have someone in a role, and you're like, oh my gosh, this is going horribly wrong, or this situation isn't working. I should've asked them about this. But even knowing, I mean, obviously you can't know it all. But, just making sure you cover as much of your basis as you can. We had talked about this, one of the days this week preparing for this segment, and just coming to terms with the fact that interviewing is not a perfect process, And that candidate evaluation is not a perfect process. And that you make mistakes. And that really it's a learning process, right? I think that's, coming to terms with that is part of learning to be a good interviewer is that it's always a new opportunity to learn something else you should have asked, a different way to ask a question, evaluating people in a different way, picking up on maybe nonverbal cues in a different way, and so I think that's incredibly understandable and absolute yes. And also, I think we need to relax a little bit and give ourself some breathing room, being a little bit more graceful with ourselves. That it's a process of learning as much as it is a process of getting it right. It's a process of discernment, and I was also just thinking, if you are, okay. So this is definitely something I learned over. Pete told us this, listen to your gut. If there are red flags, just explore them. It doesn't mean that that person's out. It doesn't mean that, but listen to that voice so you can understand why you're hearing that and explore that, because I was just thinking of the unsuccessful hires that have happened in the past. When I look back, there was a red flag that I didn't follow up on. Or I let emotion get in the way. I think what I appreciate about our process is we gave due diligence to exploring. We don't wanna risk our friendship, and we want to make sure that we're both happy and dah dah, so we probably spent longer in the process, so I think about. That would be a fear for me, is that I don't listen to those red flags. You just gotta listen to those. Yeah, I think that's a great point, because any time you're getting into new territory business wise, you stop doing a lot of the things that make you successful. Like listening to your gut. You start trying to, you put your little business suit on. You got your little imaginary briefcase, and you're like, "I'm gonna do this the businessey way," right? And so you might say, "Well, my gut's telling me one thing, "but there's nothing on this application. "There was nothing on this interview "that actually says that." I completely agree with Shannon. That does not matter. If your gut's telling you something, it's not worth it to ignore that. You guys are smart. You guys are wise. You guys are tuned in to your gut, so go with it. Yes, do the due diligence and explore what you need to explore, and at the same time, at the end of the day, you don't have to have a reason for not hiring someone. You just say it wasn't a good fit. Yeah, Beryl. Along with that, with the intuition piece, the fear of letting someone down. Because having been on the other side of the table and been that person that didn't get the job. I'm such a people pleaser that it's like, oh, gosh, I'm gonna interview all these people and I can only pick one. I'm gonna have to let these other people down. Especially if they're part of your community. That's what I was going to say. Or you worked with them before. Your network, or they're a former client of yours or something like that. Then you've asked, you've said, hey we're hiring, I'd love for someone from my community to apply. And then you have to say, never mind, not you, just kidding. I did have that exact scenario with these last two hires that we made. We had a number of people who were already in our community apply. A couple of them got the job and a few of them didn't get the job. One of the ways I did make myself feel better with that, is actually preparing people. Saying I've got a lot more great applications than I expected to get. I'm interviewing a lot more people than I expected to interview. When we followed up, and said we're moving on with other candidates with second interviews. Or in the second interview process, we made offers to other people. It wasn't a surprise, and I was legitimately able to say, and maybe you cannot always legitimately say this, but I legitimately could say, anyone I interviewed I could have hired. Because I set them up for that too, it didn't bother me so much because I knew I was going to have to say no to somebody. I think often in the application process, I'm curious with your experience, you just want to find that one person and you only hope there's one application. It's a good application. You only hope that interview goes well. You don't have to let anybody down. In this case it was so much easier for me because there were so many good applications. I was going to let somebody down. I couldn't worry about that because it was just a reality. I would say I've been in both situations. The three scenarios are feast or famine. Where there's three applications so I'm struggling to get applications. I've had, for graphic designer positions, hundreds of applications and then it how you winnow down from there. I was thinking in terms of if you know the people, like you mentioned. Where's that prior relationship. What you talk about is the quality so you could set that expectation. But I think there can also be an entitlement expectation with people you may know. That could have happened with us. Totally. I think you have to navigate those waters carefully by clearly setting up the expectations with that. I've had people come back at me, why didn't you hire me? I thought it was a done deal. I was, I never said that. I had to retro-navigate from the reverse. I think just being really clear from the beginning, I know we have a relationship... However you need to do that in a diplomatic way. Honestly, that's probably one thing I wish I would have done differently. With our process, I should have been interviewing a couple of more people too. Right? Just in case. Just in case. Just in case. I should have been interviewing a few more people too. Its fine, I didn't need to. (laughing) Melissa? The other fear that I have, and this happened to me. You do the interviews, okay, I found somebody I think this is going to work out. You hire them, I hired them. Then all the signs that were in the interview were totally wrong, and it was the wrong person. I thought I was getting someone who said they were detail oriented for this job that was extremely detail oriented, admin stuff. This person could not be detail oriented if it saved his life. It was a disaster. Then I had to let him go. That's a fear. I look back on the interview process. What signs were there that I missed. Was it that I felt rushed in the process. I shouldn't have been hiring anybody in the first place. That was its own separate process. Given that I was in a situation where I was hiring, How many people did you interview? Three. Oh, you did interview more than one. And they were all pre screened. I think you did the right thing. You let them go as soon as you figured out it wasn't a good fit. I would not lose a lot of sleep over you missing something. I think you did exactly, and analyzing it and asking yourself, was there something you could have done differently. Very objectively, very detached from the outcome of that analysis. Just learning for the next time. You're going to get something wrong. I think some things just can't be avoided. We were talking about it as it's the cost of doing business. Sometimes, like you said, hiring is not a perfect process. There are just some cases, and maybe you unfortunately hit that first. Your first case scenario was your worst case scenario. (laughing) but it doesn't mean that's a reflection on you and your interviewing capabilities. You know what I mean? It can happen. If you can objectively step back and though is there anything I can do better. It doesn't proof you against it happening again, but the odds are that you've already gone through one of the worst case scenario. People are really good at deception, and really good at performing the way they think you want them to perform. Sharon. That begs the question, people are going to be on their best behavior. And they're going to answer the interview questions with what they think you want to hear. Is there anything you can do to work around that and try to get information out of them from the side. Maybe a personality test? How do you deal with trying to get underneath the level of getting the answers they think you want to hear? Actually, I'm going to skip ahead a couple of slides because the answer to that is the first bullet point on this slide, and I knew it was waiting for me. I ask for specific stories or scenarios, instead of asking generic questions. Not like, tell me what your best strengths are. Or, can you tell me about your customer service experience. Or, what's important to you when you're serving customers. It's tell me about a time when a customer was really, really angry and how you made that customer feel better. Turn that situation around. It is a complete red flag to me if someone giving me a specific scenario is not giving me any specifics. That's when they're telling me what I want to hear. If they can't access that memory, it's not a red flag for them to say, I don't have a specific experience that I can tell you about, but I can tell you about this other thing that I did. That's fine with me. But I want it to be specific. I think people are really used to making things up when it comes to those general questions, not making things up but just telling you what you want to hear. It's a lot harder to do that when you get them to tell you about a really specific scenario. I'll spend a couple of questions on that kind of thing. What are the traits that are interesting to me in a good candidate and how can I ask a sideways question? One of the questions I asked in our last hiring experience around this member experience specialist. Tell me about how you like to meet new people. So it has nothing to do with me figuring out your qualifications for the job, and more me getting you to tell me in what scenarios are you really good at meeting people. I will decide, instead of you deciding, whether that's a good fit for this job. Also people have the most amazing answers. It was so hard. Almost everyone I interviewed said I really like meeting people at networking events. So I would follow up, how do you do it? (laughing) I'm completely serious. Almost everyone responded that way, and I followed it up with general curiosity. I hate networking events, please tell me how you do it and how I can get better at it. (laughing) Which was great, because it built rapport. I was open. I was transparent with them. I could say this is why we're hiring for this job so that we can have more people like you and I have to do that stuff less. Iella? I was listening to your Vanessa VanEdwards podcast episode about being happy. She had something really interesting to say about, I can't remember if it was about hiring or about the people that she has on her team, but it's all about, I think a good question maybe something about what are the things that make you most satisfied. What are the skills that you love doing? If anything amidst your job description is in there, then of course that's a good sign. It don't even necessarily have to do with the job description. If the kinds of qualities, the extroverted qualities, for a member specialist or something like that, or I love looking at spreadsheets, whatever. Hire that person. (laughing) It goes back to enthusiasm also. People are telegraphing things to you all throughout the whole process. If you need someone to do spreadsheets and they're nerding out over spreadsheets during the conversation, that's a good sign. (laughing) If they're not, people telegraph that as well. I was just thinking about this in terms of the last process. You have to be a customer service nerd to be in this job. And there's people who can do customer service, and there's people who know what it is and have had it as part of their job, but the people who stood out were the people who were like, customer service, right? I'm so glad you brought that up, exactly. I can do customer service. I've done it before I started my business. That's all I'd ever done is customer service. But the part of customer service that I actually enjoyed most was sales. I loved being a book seller, because I loved selling books. One of the things we had to do was, if someone asked you where something was you weren't allowed to say, oh it's in the fiction and literature section. The author's last name is B and oh by the way their shelved by author's last name, because not everyone knows that. (laughing) War stories. Anyhow, you had to take them from the information desk or where ever they found you to the section, and put the book in their hand. I loved that. I also loved being, and if you loved that, if you think you love this book, follow me. Let me put this other book in your hand. Because you're going to love this one too. That I can nerd out on. And you enthusiasm is telegraphing. So enthusiastic. But, customer service, not really. I don't want to spend my days making angry customers happy. There's a certain enjoyment I get out of it. I like turning people around and salvaging conversations and figuring out what's going to make them happy. But it's not what I'm enthusiastic about. I think that enthusiasm piece is huge. What questions can you ask, what scenarios can you get them to share with you that will allow them to either get enthusiastic, if they're the right person, or not be enthusiastic if they're the wrong person. That's so good. Sharon, did that answer your question? Yeah. Awesome. Let's just continue diving into this. How are you going to make the most of your interviews. So again, ask for specific stories or scenarios that demonstrate the ability to do the job. Another question that I asked people was tell me about a profound experience you've had online. Because to me, the culture of the internet is really important to how we do business. One of the things that makes me so excited about how we do business is that I get to do what I've always wanted to do is literally just hang out online. My job now in addition to managing my company is hanging out online and talking to smart people on the internet. I want to make sure the people we have on our team also have profound experiences of the internet. They feel as strongly about the opportunity of the internet, about the opportunity of virtual work, the opportunity of meeting people you would have never met before as I am. Sorry, I kind of lost my train of thought there. Because I got excited. I was enthusiastic. I tend to lose my train of thought when I get enthusiastic. Ask them to describe what kind of environment or communication allows them to thrive. In two ways you can evaluate the answers here. Either you can figure out when they're trying to tell you what you want to hear. If that's what they're doing, they're going to what they think your organization is like. So you can say, no that's not actually what this organization is like. They're going to be honest with you and you can evaluate is that a good fit or not. I think about Lashonta's looking for an intrapreneurial spirit. You want to dig down into do they want to be managed, or do they like a lot of guidance and oversight, or are they a person who wants to. That's a space where something like that can help. Yeah, another question you could ask there too, and I would highly suggest asking the same question from multiple angles. You could also say, bullet point one, tell me about a time you've brought a creative idea to a previous job and how you got buy in on that and how you were able to manage the implementation of that. If they haven't done it, they'll say, well I haven't done that but my old job didn't really let us do creative things but I have this great idea. Then they're going to get really enthusiastic about it right, or they're just going to be like, nah. (laughing) So for every trait you know you want to find, or for every attitude you know you want to solve for, ask a few questions around them. Ask for different scenarios ask them more conceptual questions. See how many different angles you can get. To Sharon's question, it's harder for someone to pull the wool over your eyes through multiple questions, than it is through one question. They can guess on one question, but as the story starts to change as you're asking from different angles, you'll know, alright, this is not exactly a good fit here. I would add, to your point, thinking about what's going to help everyone succeed, I like to look at, in my preparation for the interview, where the possible holes are. Where the possible mismatches are. I don't think they're going to be happy in this. I might be wrong, but I notice they talk a lot, maybe they think really big picture. But really the job's kind of detail oriented. I like to, in advance, think about a couple things that I think need to be explored for a good fit. Yeah, you were so good at that in our last interview process. That's literally what I asked her to do. Please look for the red flags, so that we can make sure we're not going down the wrong direction with anyone. Another thing you want to do is get a feel for their timeline. I mean this in two different ways. Get a feel for how quickly they want to get on board with you, and how quickly they want to start creating and producing for you. Also get a feel for how long they expect to be in this position. Often for the people we're going to be hiring, they may have some sort of entrepreneurial background themselves. They may have a business on the side. That was certainly our scenario with this last hiring process that we went through. We're upfront with them and said, I don't expect you to give up your business. I don't expect you to tell me you're going to be with this company for the next 10 years. But tell me what the next couple of years look like in you life. What would happen ideally with you in this position, over the next 18 months. Because it is really expensive and exhausting to have to back to the well and hire over and over and over again. When you could have a better understanding of what someone's timeline is in an interview scenario. Obviously, things change. Opportunities come up. Things don't work out. Somebody has to move across the country. Just things change. But at least you've got a little bit better idea there. Then of course you're going to include questions that point towards your core values as well. You want to make sure that they can get as excited about your core values as you are. It might not mean that their personal values and the business's values are a one to one line-up. That probably doesn't even make sense. You want to make sure that there's alignment, even if it's not a one to one comparison. What else do you think about when you're thinking about interviewing somebody. I was thinking about going back to your question, in this room especially, about people who might have a job on the side and their timeline, sort of the fine line between being an entrepreneur, being an intrapreneur, being an employee, getting a bead on what that looks like to them. I get great value from helping you advance your vision. You give me intrapreneurial ownership of what I do, but I'm very happy at this moment in my life. I don't have a thing that I'm saying I need to be an entrepreneur, and I need to move this personal vision forward. That makes me a good employee and a good fit for what you need right now. Where someone lands on that could be kind of jenky. That brings up an important question I think some of you might have in the back of your head. Why work for a company like ours? I'm going to actually put you on the spot. We did not prepare this one. A lot of people in our space, knowing the opportunity we have, to have independent work, to start our own businesses, say why would anyone want to work for me when we can go out and start their own business. So why work for our company. What value do you see in working for Beryl, or Meg, or Lashonta or Iella. Well Lashonta touched on this earlier when you were talking about having a project manager with an intrapreneurial spirit. They get a lot of reward and a lot of pride, but they don't have to take all the risk. I don't have a strong enough vision for something I want to do. I have some ideas, but I'm not at a position where I want to take a risk. But I really love being in a very innovative field. It's certainly new to me, and I've learned a ton, but I also see it as innovative. And I see it as cutting edge. I'm very satisfied by that. I don't want to take that risk right now. I have ideas for you too. Still, it's a sickness. (laughing) I think one of the top complaints, especially certainly from millennials, but I think for any generation. One of the top complaints with employment is that people aren't responsive. They don't listen to my ideas. They don't take my suggestions seriously. When someone comes to work for a team of one or two or three, that's a huge opportunity for fulfillment and meaning in a job. Recognizing that, of course, they're going to take your ideas seriously because hell's ya they need those ideas. That's why you're there. I think that's a huge perk. I think flexibility is a huge perk. Working from home can be, I'm not saying that it is, but it can be. You're getting used to working from home right? I love it. (laughing) I'm just nervous for you. I never leave the house. I need to start leaving the house. We'll have to talk about that. (laughing) Interesting. Well you know extroverts and working from home. It could be a little dangerous. I did have my own business. That's right, I was going to say that to you. I owned a newsstand, a little convenient store at one time. So that was before Borders. I made a choice there to go from an entrepreneur back to being an employee. I made a distinct move from being an employee to an entrepreneur, because I didn't want to work for anybody anymore. At that moment in time, that was not on my list. It became a business 101 kind of experience. Just figuring stuff out and I learned so much from that. Then I hit a point where I was like, I got to have a vacation. (laughing) I can't open this store a seven o'clock and put the newspapers and soft pretzels out one more day. I didn't want that. You know, things change. Yeah, absolutely. Lashonta. It reminded me of the conversation I had with you, and even sometimes in my season of businesses, sometimes you can feel more like an entrepreneur or you are more of an entrepreneur in an organization than you are as the boss having a whole bunch of jobs. That's been a big thing for me sometimes. You have more resources if you're in a job that allows you to be creative as opposed to you're wondering how you're going to pay stuff. And your bootstrapping everything and being your own business owner. That big difference between being a boss business owner, an employee, an entrepreneur, and intrapreneur. There's just so many different facets of it. Is that a question or concern that resonates with you guys in terms of why would anyone want to work with me? Megan you're shaking your head. Yeah, I was thinking about it earlier too. Clearly I have issues with the IRS. (laughing) Because I though about it from the tax write-off standpoint. Wait, if someone's an employee and, maybe I'm just creating things. It's the same line. Why would someone basically be doing the same this as they could be doing as a a contractor and then getting the benefits of being a contract employee as being an employee are they losing some of those benefits. I just don't know. That's one of my concerns. Its the same thing, why would they choose this. It's a question of lifestyle. You have a high value for flexibility, we've already determined this from minute one, which I love. So you see the trade off of being, I'd rather take risks so that I can have more flexibility, lifestyle wise, so that makes me a really great business owner. Whereas, someone else is like, no I'd prefer stability over flexibility. Someone would rather have more stability and trade off having those extra perks. It's all a question of trade offs. You guys have made a certain set of trade offs. You might think, I've won the lottery with this whole business thing. Where someone else is like, yeah, no you can keep that. It's like we get this business advice that you are not your client. Whether it's pricing or whatever it is, don't apply your stuff to what your clients will do. But its the same thing with hiring. Just because I don't necessarily want to be an employee obviously doesn't mean-- Take it as a compliment. If someone wants to work for you they believe in your vision. I believe in what your doing. I love it, it's fun. That's got to be reassuring and affirming for you. Absolutely. And it's fun for me. I found something that's a really great fit. I'm going to put my all into it. That should be exciting to have people who want to join your party. Beryl? Jen and I have had these conversations. This is all resonating. I was that person, that was like wait, I coached Jen before she worked for me. In teaching her own photography classes and having a photography business. Then I was like, but she has these entrepreneurial dreams why would she want to work for me. And then we got on the phone, much like you did, and had a very candid conversation, I'm going to put words in you mouth. You were like, I don't like marketing. She was like, but I love your class. And it was that whole, she had the intrapreneurial spirit. I believe in your vision and it was this huge ah-hah for me It was like not everyone's not like me. Not everybody want's that flexibility or that responsibility. I'm glad you brought up too, the client, coach relationship too because I've coached people that I've hired as well. It can feel like, You could make it feel like, I'm not saying that I've ever felt this way honestly, it could feel like maybe that's a failure, that if I had to hire them later, they didn't get out of this what they wanted. But that belies the idea behind the coaching, which is you find clarity for what you want and the direction you want to go. And how you can contribute value. And so it worked out that coaching relationship eventually led to an employee relationship. Jen's written about that on my website before. Oh wonderful. She has, just about what she learned from the coaching process. How sometimes you don't get out of that relationship what you went into it expecting. But she learned so much more about herself. And what her vision was. Love it, Melissa? I've had conversations over the past, I don't know how many, months now with two different close friends, who have organizational strengths, where I have weaknesses. Asking them specifically, what's your ideal job? And thinking about how they would fit in my vision for my new company that I'm building. With a lot of curiosity around why aren't they building businesses for themselves. Because they don't want to build businesses for themselves, they want to be employees. So that's part of my vision is to hire them and to create jobs for them. I love it. Always be checking out the talent. Okay, let's start to, well any final questions about interviewing? Just one thing when you guys were talking about that, you got more than what you thought for resumes, and building the expectation of how do you say no to people in your network. And that could feel really bad. I think one of the things you touched on that I want to reiterate is that you actually followed up with them and said we're not moving forward with you. You actually didn't just ignore it. How many people have applied to jobs and you might make the first cut, and then you never hear back, and you're like, okay, I guess I didn't get it. But at least you followed up and said this is what's happening. What I also wanted to legitimately to let them know, that under different scenarios, I would have hired them. But yes, following up on lots of different levels was really important to me. I have not done that in the past at Borders. I was a much younger person then. I didn't want to do that again, it didn't feel good then. And having spend the past six months going through interviews, it was awful. It was really, really awful to go through an intense interview. I was asked on a Friday to let them know by Monday, if I would be willing to move across the country. I met with my family. We hashed it all out. Yes, I would do this. And then I gave them the answer and I never heard. Don't do that, don't do that. Yeah, you know I eventually dragged an answer out of them but there was no closure. The lesson there is that you can already be better hiring people than those people. (laughing)

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