How To Hire The Right People

Jim Luff
Posted on November 13, 2014

Adding a new employee to your company resembles starting a new relationship. Is there compatibility? Will the new employee get along in the company culture? Is the employee capable of delivering the service and quality of work you need? Proper interviewing techniques and defined hiring procedures will help you select the ideal candidate for your company.


The application becomes a part of the selection process. If you have set days or times you accept applications, did the applicant adhere? If not, this should be a red flag they do not follow detailed instructions, a very important trait in our business. Have all applicants completed an application form in handwriting, even if they have a resume? This further indicates their attention to details, directions and completing tasks. Ultimately, the applicant must complete a form for driving positions to comply with Department of Transportation laws in most states, so even if they have a resume and balk at completing an application, it’s the law.

Using a Written Exam

A written exam before an oral interview is a common technique used by many companies and government entities to weed out those who don’t merit your time for a sit-down session. Whether you develop your own exam in-house or use a commercial website such as HR Avatar ($20) to conduct the exam, it can reveal the applicant’s thought processing skills, personality, geographical knowledge and attention to detail. The exam can become a baseline indicator of the level of training needed once hired. An in-house test should include questions such as, “Name three fine dining restaurants in the area,” “On what streets are the following hotels located?” (listing major hotels), and what actions the applicant would take in the event of a vehicle accident.

Interview Setting

Interviews should be conducted one-on-one in a private setting free of distractions and people who might overhear the conversation. The applicant is going to be nervous enough without an audience listening to their answers. Do not accept phone calls during interviews or look at your computer unless you are taking notes on your computer about the interview. This is not recommended. Give the applicant your full and undivided attention during the interview. You can immediately write a summary of the interview when done. Allow yourself about 10 minutes of uninterrupted time following the interview to complete this as you may be interviewing several people in a single day and not be able to remember exactly who said what without notes.

Conducting Interviews

Interviews are awkward for both parties. Very few limousine companies employ a human resources manager, and unless you have had specific training in conducting interviews, most are not quite sure what questions to ask. Do your best to make the applicant feel at ease before delving into questions. You might take a moment to explain your history with the company or the history of the company followed by the direction the company is headed. You can easily transition into questions after that by starting with the question, “How do you think you can help us achieve our vision?” The question gives the applicant a chance to display his personality by offering up any assets, skills or knowledge he has and how he might use it within the company. This is the time you should remain quiet and listen.

Getting The Applicant to Talk

The worst questions to ask are ones that draw a “yes” or “no.” The best questions are ones that require the applicant to make full statements and provide detailed answers related to the job. A good example would be to ask the applicant if she enjoys working alone and independently or in a group functioning as a team member. Once she provides the answer to that question, follow it up with the question, “Why Asking Why?” is a great method for learning more about the applicant’s personality and thought pattern. This one question can tell you so much about how someone will fit in to your organization.

Application Process

1. Candidate submits application package.
2. Application and written exam reviewed.
3. Interview scheduled.
4. Interview applicant.
5. Applicant notified of decision. If hired, go to Step 7.
6. Application package filed for future consideration in “received” file for three years.
7. Submit applicant information to insurance company for background/driver records review.
8. Submit consent and request for information to previous employer.
9. Schedule employee for pre-employment drug and alcohol screening.
10. Results of drug screen received. If negative, go to step 11. If positive, go to step 15.
11. Applicant completes drive test with an authorized trainer.
12. Trainer approves drive test and applicant is hired. If the applicant failed the drive test, go to Step 16.
13. Enroll employee in DMV pull-notice program or other state required program.
14. Submit employee name and information to third party drug testing company for inclusion in random testing program.
15. Applicant notified in person and in writing of positive results and termination of the application process.
16. Applicant notified in writing of reason for drive test failure and termination of application process.

Application Package

Having a prospective employee submit a complete package of items required in an employment file can help you comply with labor and DOT laws. When you present an application to a job candidate, include all forms listed below and a summary checklist for the candidate to review to include the following documents:

• Employment application
• 10-year driver’s license report
• Copy of driver’s license (required for Form I-9)
• Copy of medical card (DOT required)
• Copy of Social Security card (required for Form I-9)
• Signed consent for background check
• Signed consent from previous employer (DOT required)
• Completed written exam (or directions to website to complete)

20 Nitty-Gritty Questions

The following is a list of questions that can give you great insight into the applicant’s personality, ethics, work values and job performance. They are designed specifically to help you extract information and determine if the applicant is the right person for the position:

1. Can you describe yourself for me as a person?
2. What is your worst failure in life, and if you could do it over again, what would you do differently?
3. What is your biggest accomplishment in life and why was it such a big deal?
4. In your last job, what bothered you most about it and why?
5. What did you like and dislike about your last supervisor?
6. What would you say are your greatest strengths?
7. If I was to ask your current or last supervisor what you do that drives him crazy, what would it be?
8. What do you think makes people successful?
9. If you needed advice on an important matter, who would you turn to and why?
10. Have you ever worked with someone who just didn’t perform well? How did you handle that person or what did you do about it?
11. If a co-worker challenged your performance to your face, how would you handle it?
12. Describe a crisis at your last job and tell me how you handled it?
13. Who was your best boss ever and why was he the best?
14. If you were asked by your supervisor to do something that you knew was wrong, what would you do?
15. If management made a decision that you didn’t agree with, what would you do?
16. At your previous employment, what is one task you hated doing and why?
17. What was your favorite thing to do on a regular basis and why?
18. Why do you want this job?
19. Why should I hire you rather than any other candidate?
20. Do you have any questions for me?

Related Topics: business management, employee management, employee recruitment, employee retention, hiring, human resources, staff training

Jim Luff General Manager
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