Are you hiring now, or in the foreseeable future? This is the Big Mistake interviewers make that kills your chances of hiring a good person.

Never try to “Sell the Position”.

Your new interviewee will want the position in direct proportion to how hard the position is to get. They will also want the position more in direct relation to the time and effort they put in to get the position.

Almost none of the interview should be you telling about the position. Almost all the interview should be you asking questions so the interviewee can sell you on why they should be hired. The selling should all be done by them, not you. If you keep talking about how great the position is, it triggers an “I’m being pitched” defense in the mind of the interviewee.

In my early days of hiring for my company, occasionally a perfect applicant would come in. They would have the right experience, the right attitude, and be eager to work for me. But I would get excited about this person. I would start telling them all the benefits of working for my company. They would hear all about the potential for raises, the skills they would learn. We would shake hands, and they would leave…never to return.
Why? Because at some point in the interview, they changed from seller to prospect.

And it killed their desire to “get in with our company”. Eventually, I learned to reverse the roles. I would ask them questions that would lead them to sell me on why I should hire them.

Have you ever had a friend talk to you about a company they work for and they said “I can put in a word for you”? Have they ever said “I may be able to get you in”?
These are actually powerful selling statements. These statements position you as the person wanting the job, and the job opening as something to be desired.

When you are interviewing, ask questions like “Why would you be a good fit for our company?” Let them sell you. You want this job to be seen as a coveted prize.

Almost every employer has one or more employees that they would like to fire, but don’t usually, this is because, at some point in the relationship, they have found out that you need them more than they need you. You cannot ever let that idea take root. It can’t be reversed once it starts. Don’t be a dictator, but something like “asking their permission” can change the employer-employee dynamic overnight.

One more tip; You want to get a couple of personal references, and actually call them.
Do you call them to get more information on the prospective employee? Maybe a little. The real benefit is that the person you call will call the applicant as soon as you hang up the phone with them. The job will look like something even more valuable and harder to get. Look at all you had to go through to get it.

If you interview in this way, your new employee will tend to show up on time more often, and think of this job as something to keep. We all win.

Small Business Marketing and Local Advertising expert Claude Whitacre is author of the book The Unfair Advantage Small Business Advertising Manual. You can purchase the book for $19.95 at You can also download your Free copy of the complete book at

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