There are a lot of theories as to what an interviewer should ask in an interview.  Attitude, behavior, experience and education are things that are talked about a lot in the field of hiring as the things to investigate and know about as being important in terms of who you would hire.

It is true these factors are important, but it is also true that they are not the most important factor.

If you were going to hire a batsman for your cricket team I am sure the first question you would ask is “How many runs did you make last year?” In sport, we measure results and statistics as a matter of fact. Most football supporters could tell you how many goals such and such scored or how many times such and such had the ball etc. but for some reason we don’t ask the same thing we are assessing people to work for us.

If you were going to buy a racehorse and you went down to the barn, there was one horse that was the most friendly and you were told that “all the kids liked to ride him”, but the only time he ran was when the barn burnt down one time, you wouldn’t be so interested in buying this horse to run in races for you.  If you saw another horse that had to be tied down by six ropes and the stable hand told you that it got out once and had to be caught by men on motor bikes, you’d be a little more interested and want to know more.

If someone said you could hire a sales guy who sold twice as much as anyone else but until he had his first coffee on a Monday morning he was a nightmare to be around.  I suggest that a good manager would hire him and install a coffee machine at reception with the extra sales he’d make, so he would be sorted out before he saw any of the other staff each week.

So therefore the most important thing to ask in an interview would simply come down to two questions;

1)      What product or service did you produce in your last job?

2)      How much in what period of time did you produce that?

So now we know that the person knew what they were at work for and we know that they were productive.  You can then assess this production against others at the work place and also verify the results with the person’s reference.

When you have a productive guy in front of you, now is time to ask about personality, motivation, attitude, experience and education.  Until you have a productive person, keep moving and only hire the most productive people into your organization to help it grow.