Hiring Your First Employee: The Interview and Making an Offer

Okay. You’ve crafted the perfect job posting, populated all major employment boards, and applications have started rolling in. 

Once you’ve filtered through your many applicants, you’re ready to start scheduling interviews. Conducting an effective interview will help you select the right person for the job; someone who aligns with the professional demands of the position as well as the values that drive your business.

How to Conduct a Job Interview 

People are often intimidated by job interviews. Interestingly enough, this can apply to both the applicant and the interviewer. But with appropriate preparation and the right mindset, interviews can be smooth sailing for all. 

Interviews are your prime opportunity to really get to know your candidates and have a candid conversation. You’re two individuals looking to help each other. The right candidate is a solution for a business looking for the right employee; the right business is an employment solution for an individual looking for the right job. Tweaking your mindset, and understanding the scope and opportunity of an interview can really help put the practice into perspective. 

Here are some tips on conducting a successful job interview:

  • Before you even start interviewing candidates, a lot of your time will be spent reading resumes and scheduling interviews. We can’t stress enough how important it is to stay organized; make relevant notes on topics you’d like to ask candidates about and be sure to give yourself a refresher ahead of the interview. Like anything else in life, preparation is key 
  • Start the interview by introducing yourself and anyone else in the room (or on the Zoom call). This will help set the tone of the interview, and put each candidate at ease 
  • Keep in mind that the best interviews often feel less like an interrogation and more like a friendly conversation. You don’t want to make candidates feel like they’re getting grilled in the hot seat. Be professional, but personable  
  • After introductions, begin with your general questions before getting into specifics. Being an active listener will help you ask insightful follow-up questions during the process, which makes for a more engaging (and effective!) interview 
  • Expect to answer questions. A candidate who is seriously interested will have questions of their own: about you, the position, and the company. Be open and honest; a good question, even if you don’t know the answer, means a candidate has done their research 
  • Thank each candidate for coming and communicate next steps; namely, when they’ll hear from you again on a decision, or if you’ll want to schedule a follow-up interview. Be transparent and make a good impression; as much as you’re interviewing them, they’re also interviewing you as an employer 

Questions to Ask When Conducting an Interview 

If you’re not sure where to start, here are some general questions to help you out. These are meant to be a starting point: the best interview questions will be ones that come from having an engaging discussion:  

  • Tell me about yourself and how you got started in your field 
  • What is your biggest strength? Your biggest weakness? 
  • Who would you say is your biggest inspiration? 
  • Where do you see yourself in five years? 
  • Tell me about a time you faced a challenge in your previous role. How did you overcome it?  
  • What are you passionate about in relation to this field and this position? 

Providing a Job Offer to the Right Candidate 

Now that you’ve held your interviews, it’s (hopefully!) time to make an offer to the best candidate. To make it official, you and your new employee will need to complete a few steps:  

  • While a job offer can be verbal or written, it’s a good idea to have a written job offer that your new employee can sign. It should list everything relevant to the job: specific duties, hours, wages, benefits, and more. As we always assert, be sure it meets the employment standards of the location you’re working in
  • Check their Social Insurance Number (SIN). You’ll need to record your new employee’s name and SIN within the first three days of their first day working. 
  • Note: A SIN that starts with 9 means this person is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and is only authorized to work under certain conditions 
  • Have your new employee fill out the TD1 form. If your business operates in Quebec, your employee will need to fill out the federal TD1 form and provincial form TP1015.3-V.   

And remember, great benefits are always a great value proposition when making a job offer. If you’re looking for the right employee benefits plan suited for your business (especially as you continue to grow and hire new employees), we can help. Explore PaymentEvolution’s various product and service offerings to learn more about how we can help your business operate at its best.   

Stay tuned for the next installment of this series, we’ll go over how to successfully onboard your new employee and do a deep dive on how deductions and taxes play a part in your payroll.