When I was hired for my previous job as well as my current role as Managing Partner at Lucas Group, neither employer expressed any concerns with my skill set or experience during the interview. However, no matter how qualified they felt I was for the job, they wouldn’t know whether or not I would thrive and succeed until I started the new position. When it comes to hiring the right person, you can try to control the situation and pick the top candidate as best you can, but ultimately, there are a lot of uncontrollable factors. While there’s no guarantee that you will hire the right person, there are several steps you can take to ensure you choose the most ideal candidate from the available talent pool that you interview.

Ask a lot of questions during the interview

You want the candidate to prove a pattern of success, whether it’s professional career accomplishments or succeeding during their higher education years. Ask why they chose a certain school or job, why and how did they succeed in that scenario and look for consistency in their answers. You want to see a track record of good decision making.

Make sure it’s a cultural fit

Look beyond the candidate’s skills and experience and determine if he or she would fit in with your team and company. Does the person have something in common with the rest of the team? Is there a common thread? Make sure the candidate is in alignment with your executives’ vision for the company culture and goals. Also be sure that more than one person on your team interviews the candidate to get a more well-rounded opinion.

Remember the basics

Most tactical skills can be taught. However, there are a number of soft skills that are inherent to someone’s personality and moral character. Look for a solid foundation and attributes you can’t train such as integrity, hard work and the ability and willingness to learn. If a candidate possesses the basic, yet important, traits to be successful with your company, you can train them on the industry- and role-related tasks.

Have you had experience hiring the right (or wrong) candidate? We want to hear from you.