In this post, I want to give you my tips on landing a superstar (from my book Home Service Millionaire). I am going to focus on pre-screening in this post along with the questions to ask your future employees.
There are five steps to landing a superstar: prescreening, personality testing, in-person interview (or zoom meeting), background check, and offer.
Here’s how we do it at A1 Garage. This process allows you to quickly filter out people who aren’t a good fit so you can spend most of your time talking with the cream of the crop.
As you already know, once you have a pool of qualified applicants, you need to screen them thoroughly. Screen all applicants over email and the phone before moving onto the next step.
Email gives you a sense of a candidate’s written communication skills
Phone interviews allows you to assess their verbal communication skills.
You can quickly determine if their skills match what you need in a certain position and whether they’d be a good fit for your company.
Your goal is to make sure the candidate is perfect for the position so you don’t make exceptions. If at any point during the phone conversation you’re not sensing a superstar, trust your gut, do both of you a favor, and end the interview.
Ask questions that help bring out their personality and professional demeanor.
These are my top three:
1. Why should I hire you?
2. If I called your old boss, what would he or she tell me you need to work on?
3. How you would handle [insert situation]?(Make it a situational question that requires creative reasoning skills.)
Five additional questions:
1. What are your career goals? Did you come here for a career or a job?
In a perfect world, the career goals the candidate shares will match your company’s needs and they’ll talk about those goals with passion and energy.
2. What are you not interested in doing professionally?
This is another way of asking for weaknesses and it works well.
3. Who were your last three bosses? When I call them up, how will each of them gauge your performance on a scale of 1 to 10?
What you’re doing here is letting them know you’re going to call their references. And trust me—it’s worth the time to make those phone calls.
When asked this question, a lot of candidates backpedal and say things like:
“We didn’t really get along”
“I didn’t appreciate their chain of command”
“The dispatcher was a jerk”
“The appointment setter screwed me.”
When they make comments like that, you know the person won’t be a good hire.
ALSO: The other thing you can do to see if the person is a good fit for your culture is to check them out on Yelp.
To do this, go to Yelp and click on “Find Friends” and enter their email address.
You want to see a lot of five-star reviews. It’s OK if they have a few one-star reviews; you just don’t want the profile to be filled with them. Then, check out their social media profiles.
Who are they are hanging out with? Do they look and sound like a fit with your company culture? Make sure the things they are posting are aligned with the values of your company.
4. What were some low points during your last job?
Maybe there was an installation that went wrong, and the customer was unhappy. Also ask them if they would change anything about their last job and, if so, what the top three things would be. This will tell you a lot about their personality type. What you want to hear is that they take responsibility even though it might not be their fault and they have an improvement plan to proactively fix things.
5. What kind of money do you need to make to survive?
While you can’t ask too many personal questions—you absolutely cannot ask if they’re married, for example—one thing I’ve learned is to make sure the possible candidates have a decent standard of living. What I’ve noticed over time is that if a guy only needs $400 a week to survive, he or she will work hard Monday and Tuesday until they make what they need and then fall back for the rest of the week. But when they have bills to pay, they tend to be motivated to earn more money, especially if they are paid based on commission.
A personal flair:
I also add a little personal flair when interviewing for a position that will work closely with me. I ask them to sing happy birthday with me hahaha.
I know this sounds silly, but I am a unique person. I do not enjoy working with stuffy people who can't enjoy work or think outside of the box. Asking this silly question shows me who will be fun and outgoing versus those I will not work well with.
This line of questioning has worked very well for me at A1 Garage. Keep in mind that this is not a one size fits all. Ask questions that help you get to the part of the interviewer that really matter to your business.