There are basically three questions interviewers should be using to decide who to hire as the ideal candidate. This is particularly true if you are lucky enough to have more than one really qualified candidate to choose from.

1. “Can this candidate do the job?”
2. “Will this candidate “fit” into the department? The company culture?
3. “Can we afford the candidate?”

How you cut through the pile of candidates by using these three questions as your measuring stick will inevitably open up more questions.

· Does the candidate really require all those skills and qualities listed on the job description? How important is it that this candidate be 100% qualified? Could he/she be trained on some of the responsibilities of the job?

· Let’s face it, whether or not you intend to be partial to one candidate over another is often “somewhat” subjective.
It really boils down to being “comfortable” with the candidate. We tend to be most comfortable with people who are open and real. We can usually spot someone who is trying too hard, – or who is not answering the questions asked, but instead is telling you what they think you want to hear. Trying to please a bit too much, or playing the politician can be spotted if you’re watching.

· The question of salary usually doesn’t rear its’ head until later on in the process, but it can be a “deal breaker.” Too low – something wrong with this guy? Too high – the budget won’t be able to bend that high.

If all else fails, and the candidates are truly equal – ask him or her about whether they think humor plays a role in the work place. That question’s answer is a real indicator of a person’s true work spirit. In this crazy world of work, you’d better be able to laugh or you’re in trouble.

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