Best Interview Method for Job Seeker and Employer

Let me start off by saying I am not an HR expert or ever claim to be. What you are about to read is the most effective strategy that I have used over the past 20 years when it comes to hiring 1099 “employees” or independent contractors. However, times are changing and even W2 hiring is starting to implement having the spouse/significant other on the final interview. If it sounds crazy to you, it did to me as well in the beginning. It is also the most profound idea and time saver when it comes to finding the right fit for the employer and employee. Here are three reasons to involve your significant other in the decision process.

Know What to Expect

Starting a new job or career is a big decision for not only the candidate but for his or her entire family. Both parties are taking a “leap of faith” when choosing to work together. One of the biggest challenges is communicating what the new “job” entails. If you have ever played the telephone game, then you know why having your spouse/significant other is important. How many hours do you work per week? Is there travel involved? What is the starting pay and potential for bonuses? Will there be after hour job requirements? The list goes on, but these are the questions that you will try to relay when you get home from the interview.

Advocate vs. Adversary

When hiring someone on, the applicant gets the benefit of hearing the vision of the company and how that can improve their family’s lives. The late nights, the crappy starting pay, and the stress of a new job is hard to understand if you don’t know why your partner is doing it. When you bring the spouse to the interview, they get a chance to interview you (the employer), not the other way around. I have found time and time again that once you have satisfied their answers and you choose to bring the candidate on, you have an advocate at home and not an adversary. That advocate will help keep the new hire accountable for doing the job. An adversary will only see the employer as the problem and the working relationship won’t work for long.

Complete Buy-In

The last time I chose not to bring the spouse in on the final interview was when I hired “John”. John was truly a blue-chip recruit and was building the business more efficiently and profitably than anyone before. From my vantage point, he was happy, and we were ecstatic with his drive and efficacy. His wife “Sarah” on the other hand was unhappy and wanted him to quit. Although John was hitting all the marks and succeeding professionally, he was missing the mark personally. John called me to say he had to leave the company, I said fine but asked him if I could take him and Sarah to dinner first. After a two-hour dinner, Sarah was completely bought in and could see the vision of what John was building. I’m happy to report that John is still leading the way for the company, and they have since purchased their dream home.

Making these life altering decisions requires commitment and sacrifice from more than just the employee you hire on. You are hiring on and are taking responsibility for that entire family. This is a decision that should not be made lightly and should involve both decision makers. I almost lost John because I made the mistake of not involving Sarah. That would have hurt the company and his family’s future. Next time you are bringing someone on to your “work family”, make sure to include their spouse/significant other. They will help you make the right decision for both your company and their family.


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JM Ryerson founded and sold 3 businesses and is now helping leadership teams do the same. He is an Author, Leadership & Performance Coach, International Speaker, and host of the Let’s Go Win podcast who has been building companies and leading sales teams for over 20 years. JM is the co-founder and CEO of Let’s Go Win whose mission is to increase leadership, enhance culture, and help teams achieve peak performance. JM’s great passions are inspiring people to live their best lives and become open to what life has in store for them. His ultimate goal is to give others the tools that will allow them to transcend their self-limiting beliefs. JM was raised in Montana and lives in Boca Raton, Florida with his wife Lisa and their two amazing boys.