Being a hiring manager means that it falls upon you to align your business with the best talent and character traits for the position. Talent, as good, if not better, than the ones they’ll be replacing on the team you’re building. Hiring the wrong people can cost you money, time, sometimes your reputation as a business. How can this be prevented?

Before you even put the word out about a job opening, decide exactly what it is that you’re looking for in a candidate. How much experience are you looking for in a new employee – how much time will it take to train them? As you brainstorm qualifications, be sure to do so with all those involved in conducting interviews then, everyone is on the same page and will be working off the same criteria on which individuals will be evaluated. Not only will you ensure that interviews are consistent but that they are also reliable and viable. Viability being a measure of how accurately your criteria encapsulates the desired employee, and reliability being a measure of how often the criteria in your interview produce the desired results are important.

It’s now time to conduct your interviews. Throughout this process, you have two goals: follow the established criteria to focus on your desired qualities, and foster rapport with the candidates.

Next comes the more substantive component – what to ask and what you can expect to get as a result.

First, consider the fact-based informational questions. Where did you last work? Why did you choose your degree? Asking informational questions will help to get a better sense of why an applicant was drawn to the position being offered and their intended career path.

Next – the hypothetical questions are best used to test the knowledge or problem solving skills of an applicant. Try something along the lines of, “Say you overhear two members of your team in a heated discussion, how would you go about diffusing the situation?”

The last and most substantial category of questions are behavioral questions. For example, “Tell me about a time when you needed to step up and be a leader.” The applicant will first state what the particular situation was as well as any relevant details, followed by the specific task that needed to be completed, the actions taken to accomplish that task, and the final result of their efforts. Covering both knowledge and character, behavioral questions are the best questions to ask by a mile; aiming to help you predict a candidate’s future successes by evaluating their past successes. Now you’re ready to hire your next star!