How to Screen Potential Business Partners

While men and women are not mind readers, coming up with a list of well-researched questions for potential business partners can go a long way in hiring the right person for your business. You should walk away from the screening process with a feeling of whether the person you just interviewed would be an asset or a hindrance to your company.

Ideally, you would want to hire someone that would complement your skills and personality. For example, if you prefer working in the office and having limited conversations with potential customers, it’s a good idea to hire a person that is outgoing and enjoys spending time outside the office meeting with customers. If you pay close attention to detail, it might be a good idea to hire someone who has a strong creative side that could help with marketing and advertising.

Since running a business rarely consists of a 40-hour work week, find out what type of time commitment your potential partner can offer. If a potential partner likes to take vacations frequently or is never available on weekends, this could be a red flag. You want a partner that will be around to help the business thrive. If he or she seems like a major time commitment is going to be a problem, it’s probably a good idea to look for a partner elsewhere.

At times, running a business can be stressful. When interviewing potential business partners, try to gauge how they would act in certain situations. If a customer were to become argumentative or violent, how would they deal with the situation? Ask for examples on how they handled stressful situations in other jobs. If your business is going through a rough period, does your potential business partner have access to money that could temporarily relieve financial stress? What type of experience does a potential employee possess. Always be sure to secure a list of references from a potential business partner. Also, have a set of similar questions established that you can use on former employers.

While nobody has a crystal ball, or at least one that works, doing your homework before sitting down with potential business partners can go a long way in hiring someone who is going to be an asset to your company. The more time you put into interview questions, the better off you’re going to be when you walk into that interview and meet a potential partner. Doing your due diligence before the interview will give you peace of mind when you have to make you next hiring choice.


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