Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Personality-Focused Interviewing

Have you made the decision that it's time to hire a new associate? While skills and experience are important as you plan for a new employee, the right chemistry or personality can make or break your team. Before starting the interviews, it's important to define the atmosphere of your practice and look for personalities that will fit in easily and enhance that atmosphere.

Go in to the interview with the goal of discovering a true sense of the potential new associate's personality by allowing your own personality to be seen. Make the interview more of a conversation rather than an interrogation. "You put people on guard if you ask them to reveal something about themselves but don't give them anything in return," says Jonathan Basker, a vice president at Betaworks, a New York-based company that builds social web companies. He recommends acting natural and opening up to interviewees about yourself and your practice. As the conversation flows, encourage questions about yourself or your practice from the potential hire.

Have a good idea of what personality type your practice needs to run smoothly. Are you looking for someone serious or fun-loving? Are you open to different cultures? "To find the right people for your company, your hiring process needs to give each candidate an opportunity to showcase their personality. Creating that level of comfort is a matter of knowing what you want and establishing trust," says Nadia Goodman, contributor to

Your goal is to find a match, so the right person will be comfortable with the challenges they'll face and excited about the opportunities. "Let them know it's okay if you're not looking for the same thing," Basker says. "That permission lets them show a real version of themselves."

Contributed by Marsha Hatfield-Elwell, Dental Recruiter for DE, D.C., FL, MD, NJ, and PA. To Contact Marsha, call 540-491-9116, or email at