I usually need just one interview to decide to hire.
If I am on the fence, I would usually ask the applicant to come back 2 to 3 times. But most of my hires got an offer by the end of the interview.
What do I look for?
First, is COMPETENCE.
The primary consideration is whether they can do the job or not.
Through a series of questions, I will go through the tasks and responsibilities of the said position, and from the applicant’s answers, I can gauge whether or not he/she can do the job.
Of course, it helps that I also know what type of skills and competencies that are needed to do the job. That’s what hands on managers do. You gotta know what your staff are doing to be able to hire effectively.
Two, is ATTITUDE.
My most common question when interviewing is, “Why did you leave your last job(s)?”
From that question, I can already filter out most candidates.
If they left professionally and properly, that makes me respect them more. If they are bitter and talk badly about their previous employers, blaming their bosses for their boo boos when they should take more responsibility, then they’re out.
I also like to see if they know their correct worth. My last question is usually, “What’s your expected salary?”
From their answer and the way the interview came out, I can usually see if they are overvaluing or undervaluing themselves vs. the market rate or the salary range I am imagining about the position.
Too high a salary expectation turns me off. From the interview, I can see if he/she is competent, so putting out a high salary vs. competence shows entitlement and delusion.
A slightly lower salary interests me. It shows me that the applicant wants to prove his/her worth first before asking for more. That’s very fair. I have started some applicants at lower salaries, only to give them an increase a month later because I think they deserve more.
They’re happy and I’m happy and it’s a win win.
Lastly, I check out their interest.
They should show up on time, wearing interview wear. These are acceptable to us. We’re not pompous asses anyway.
I like people who show up to the interview. If despite long notice, they reschedule on the day of the interview, that’s a bad sign and I don’t pursue them anymore.
How they also accept the offer also matters
If they grab the offer immediately, then it’s a go.
If they hee and haw and tell me they have to ask their partner whether they will accept or not, that’s a bad sign and I would just discourage them from proceeding.
I want someone who believes in the company, in the work, and the offer. Someone who wants to be there. If the applicant is not as keen to join, that’s a bad sign for me, and I just demur.
There’s more of course, but I would save that to another day. But if you’re the decision maker, usually, it’s very easy to make an offer since you already know what you want and how much you’re willing to spend for that person.