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How to find top talent for your startup

No one is perfect in an interview. If they are they probably interview so much you may need another way of assessing them. But expecting candidates to “perform” perfectly in an interview is just that…asking them to perform.

Your goal in an interview is to get a sense of the real person, it’s to dig not just into the performance and skills piece but through it to find the authentic person and authentic people are not perfect.

Here are some things to remember when conducting an interview.

Top talent comes in all shapes and sizes
  • Candidates are nervous
    • You should want all your candidates to be a little nervous, it means they are genuinely interested and the idea of not perfecting the interview scares them. Help make them comfortable.
  • This is an interview not an interrogation
    • Don’t pelt people with questions, try engaging in conversation, you’ll wind up learning more about them.
    • Probe for more info when you need it, but sometimes you’ll need to ask a leading question to get them to open the flood gates you’re looking for, don’t hold back from a leading question and then make assumptions about what they would have said.
  • Be prepared
    • Know what skills you’re looking for and spend more time talking about those, have specific questions prepared so if the conversation doesn’t get there organically you can help it. Have questions around them as people, get to know what motivates and inspires them.  Having conversation points and questions prepared doesn’t negate the interrogation point, it’s simply a way to keep your mind and conversation on track.
  • Smile
    • You set the tone, if you come in stone faced and aggressive that will be how the interview will go. If you come in smiling, positive and excited to be there it will be far more engaging.
  • Leave time for questions
    • All too often interviewers go in with a list of questions, pelt through them and then end the meeting. A candidate’s questions allow you to see how the person thinks, allows you to understand their level of understanding about the business and the role and it also allows the candidate to learn more about the company and see if this is a place for them.

And finally,

it's ok to be disappointed when interviews don't work out

Be Disappointed if the interview doesn’t go well, because if you are it means you went into the interview with high hopes of this being your candidate.

If you don’t want every candidate you meet to be the “winner” then what’s the point of interviewing? We’re all looking for that added piece to our team puzzle and even if every person you meet can’t be that piece, you should at least hope they are before you meet them.

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This post was written by Lianne Vineberg.

Lianne Vineberg is the technical talent lead at Toronto fintech startup Wealthsimple. This post originally appeared on her blog, Talent in the 6ix.

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