Few business situations are as awkward as a hire that just does not work out. Brian Tracy and Mark Thompson share a multitude of sharp hiring tips in an article for Monster. Use these tips to avoid monster hires. (Yep, I went there.)
For starters, always interview at least three people for a position, even if the first person seems awesome, so that you develop a wide frame of reference for the skills and personalities available to you. Perhaps also interview them in different places each time; a change of scenery often casts people in a new light. Maybe even have a different person interview each time, so that these people can then get together to discuss candidates and increase buy-in on the candidate ultimately chosen.
The authors say great candidates fulfill the “SWAN” criteria: smart, works hard, ambitious, and nice. Smart people will ask a lot of questions because they know that the more they know, the better prepared to succeed they will be. Hard workers are the ones who are already showing a history of hard work in their current jobs. (When it comes to work ethic, leopards seldom change their spots.) Ambitious people will articulate what is great about the job to which they are currently interviewing, rather than viewing the job as merely another stepping stone on their personal path to greatness. And lastly, nice people are just nice. There is no mistaking it when you find it—well, unless maybe the person is a sociopath. Cross your fingers.
You can view the original article here: http://hiring.monster.com/hr/hr-best-practices/small-business/hiring-process/small-business-hiring-strategy.aspx