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Out-of-the-Box Interview Questions

January 21, 2014 By: Eddie Lou


Shiftgig Hiring The service industry is dynamic and ever-changing, from trends in dining to the newest in music and décor. Unfortunately, that also applies to staff. Managers are always on the lookout for new employees. Hiring can be an expensive and time-consuming process. Thus you want to find the best as often as possible: quality candidates that will stick around.

It’s important to know what to ask when interviewing your applicants. Listening to a rundown of every bar he/she has worked in won’t tell you anything new; all of that should already be on the resume. Use the interview to gain insight into personality, habits, and skills that may not be apparent from work history alone.

Certain classic questions are always valuable, such as asking about an instance in which the interviewee handled a problem. A little creativity in your questions, however, can help build a wider view of a candidate and get them away from canned, overly prepared answers. Here are a few out-of-the-box ones to consider:

Where do you like to go when you have a Saturday night off? – In this industry it is valuable to have employees who know, understand and appreciate the scene. Getting a feel for where an applicant chooses to spend his or her time can give you an idea of whether or not they would fit in to, feel comfortable at, and, most importantly, sell your establishment.

Do you use social media? How many followers do you have? – Employees with a large social network are invaluable. Their network can become a new audience for your business; getting the word out with an influence can bring in a lot of new customers.

I’m ordering a well drink. Sell me on the top shelf. – Upselling is an important part of the business. Switch up the scenario as appropriate, but if the applicant can turn on the charm on the fly, he or she is going to serve you well out on the floor.

Throwing in unexpected questions will surprise a candidate and elicit more spontaneous and genuine responses. An applicant who can take surprises in an interview will be more likely to handle the ups and downs that happen on every shift in the restaurant and bar industry. The industry is ever-changing; make sure you find the staff that can handle ever curveball thrown at them.

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