Small talk is fine to start the interview, but get down to business and ask the right kinds of questions to uncover which candidate is the best fit for your dealership. A how-to story in the Wall Street Journal recommends focusing on four kinds of questions:

  1. Fact-finding questions to verify credentials
  2. Creative thinking questions to see how much they understand industry trends
  3. Problem-solving questions to have them prove what they know
  4. Behavioral questions to see how they might fit within your business culture

According to the story, “Hiring experts say behavioral questions reveal the most about how a candidate would fit into the company culture. Another way to get at this is through role-playing. You might set up a scenario in which you are a potential new client, and ask the candidate to deliver a pitch. Or if the job you’re filling is managerial, play the role of an underperforming employee and ask the candidate to coach you.”

The experts also suggest watching how the candidate behaves before and after the interview. For instance, are they polite to others they see in the office? Do they look frazzled or prepared?

 A final check: Watch how they follow up with you. They should send you a thank you note and offer to provide any additional information to help them secure the job.