This interview was conducted with Jana Monson, owner of Creative Arts Academy. She has hired over 75 employees over the past 15 years.
- What are some characteristics you feel you look for in a new employee? “The first thing I look for is a friendly, flexible, cooperative and approachable person. Someone who can listen, speak well and has knowledge about their expertise. I want to hear about their background, their training and anything else that makes them qualified for the job”.
- How important is previous experience when interviewing potential employees? It can be important, but the qualifying characteristics are much more important. If they’re approachable and willing to be taught, we can train them on the job in their deficiences. Sometimes more experience can be hindering because they’re set in their ways and don’t want to adapt to new environments or new policy changes.
- How well do you feel you can get to know a person through a job interview? “Pretty well, you can tell their personality and how personable they are throughout the interview”
- How long should a “good” interview typically last? “15-20 minutes”.
- What qualities or characteristics would make you immediately not want to hire an individual? “If they were negative right off the back. If they talk badly about past employers, or seems to be complaining a lot about various things. I want to see that they are positive and will improve the workplace environment, not worsen it. I have enough responsibilites myself, I don’t need more anxiety and stress with a negative employee that is ruining everyone else’s attitudes”.
- What kind of questions should the individual being interviewed ask you? “They can ask about the workplace, history of the job, what the job entails. I want to see that they have done their research and really want the job”.
- How did you feel during your first hiring experience? “I felt hopeful that they will do a good job. I also felt nervous that I wouldn’t be able to tell someone’s work ethic or personality through the interview, and I would hire the wrong candidate”.
- How do you prepare for a hiring interview? “Read through resume and try to get as much information as possible. Always call the references before the interview”.
- How many candidates do you interview for a job? “Depends on where the need is and how desperate we are to hire.”
- Do you think it’s a positive when the candidate follows up after the interview? “Yes, that is a good positive. It shows that the person wants the job and is willing to make sometimes uncomfortable phone calls”.
- Is it okay for the person being interviewed to ask for some time to think about a question before responding? “Yes, that’s fine. I want them to have a well thought out answer and to be prepared with what they want to say. I am willing to give them the time to come up with the answer that appropriately fits their views”.
- Do you look at the types of jobs they have held in the past and how they prepare them for the position? “Yes, that is important”.
- How is the turnover for the position you are filling? “Not a lot of turnovers. I’ve realized over the years that if you treat your employees good, they stay and are loyal to the company”.
- Are there advancement opportunities with this position? “There is a lot of advancement opportunities. Depending on one’s job performance, they can be advanced to higher paying job with more responsibilities”.
- How many candidates are you actually hiring? “It’s usually just one, but there can be more depending on the job specifications and the need requirement”.
What I learned from this interview is that being personable and a hard worker are more important than your experience. Someone can be trained in skills and abilities, but teaching a work ethic, determination and a positive attitude are not as easily taught. It is important for me to have a good attitude while in the workplace and be a very hard worker.