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View Full Version : I now get to do the interviewing at my store


WonTon
07-14-2006, 12:22 AM
Please. Any helpful hints? My SM is going to let me sit in on a few with him before he throws me to the wolves, but I'd love to hear some interesting stories from a few of you. :D

Sandman
07-14-2006, 02:42 AM
Never NEVER! Put their resume off to the side and ask them about their job history. It's a huge insult to them.

Trust me.. I've been on the interviewee side when that happened and I hated it.

Becks
07-14-2006, 02:56 AM
I would suggest not asking any weird questions, that have NOTHING to do with the job, etc.

When I applied to be a team leader at Goodwill, the ambiguously gay duo (aka store manager and assistant store manager) asked questions like, "Why do kids play with toys?" and other odd stuff. I hated that. With a passion, even.

Seanette
07-14-2006, 03:08 AM
I'd definitely make very sure you know what questions are legally shaky (e.g. marital status, reproductive plans, etc.). I prefer interviews in which the conversation stays on subjects relevant to the job, and where I get plenty of info offered to me so I can decide if *I* like *them* (and maybe if someone doesn't have any questions, it's because you've already covered everything that applicant is interested in).

bars.of.a.rhyme
07-14-2006, 03:38 AM
Try starting out with small talk. When I interviewed at Hollywood Video, the manager asked me what my favorite movies were. When I interviewed at EB games, they asked me about my favorite games.

Not only will it give you a chance to see what they like, but the way they answer can be a huge insight into the way they deal with other people...if they like talking about things that they enjoy, and if hearing them talk about it makes you want to check it out, odds are they're going to be a great salesman and probably pretty good with customer service. I've never had a problem with job interviews (I tend to view them less as tests and more as little chats - hey, if I don't get along with my interviewer I'll probably hate the job anyway), but if I did I imagine answering little questions like that would calm me down a bit as well.

And don't do that "quiet" thing where you clam up for a whole minute just to see what kind of embarassing shit the interviewee spits out in the awkward silence. I hate that.

Think Blue
07-14-2006, 04:38 AM
Watchout for the crazy people. The things people offer to get the job is ridiculous (sexual favors:confused: ). Remember to keep the atmosphere professional, but friendly.

April
07-14-2006, 05:45 AM
The WORST question EVER is name 3 positives and 3 negatives about yourself. I HATE that question with a passion. A close second is "what did you hate about your last job" I never want to reply with a wishy washy answer, but I never want to bash my old employer to my prospective employer either.

Worker-Intellectual
07-14-2006, 07:45 AM
Don't ask someone for their weaknesses... the last interview I had I wasn't prepared (I thought it was just a typing test and not a complete interview) and screwed up the weaknesses part. It went a little like this:

Interviewer: "Okay, what are your weaknesses"
Me: "Well, uh, typing I guess, I only got like 47 on the typing test (minimum of 40 or 45 wpm, I just barely passed). And sometimes I have trouble expressing myself over the phone (I'm applying for an office position), like especially when I am talking to someone in front of me too. And I'm not good at dealing with people"

Then I realized what I was saying and kicked myself, while watching the interviewer write it down... I didn't get the job

Asking someone for their weaknesses is really a loaded question... I never know how to handle that one and always screw it up.

Barefootgirl
07-14-2006, 08:53 AM
I agree with crappytire - asking about an interviewee's weaknesses is actually a sign of a lazy interviewer. People who are honest and hadn't thought about it, will simply make themselves look bad (as with bars.of.a.rhyme above), while the people who've read up on interview questions, and are expecting this, will have a pat answer prepared - which again, doesn't actually tell you much about their real weaknesses !

Follow the structure your manager uses in interviews. Putting interviewees at their ease to start with is definitely the best way to go - you are much more likely to get a real feel for their personality and behaviour if they are relaxed and comfortable with you.

Oh and please, follow-up when you say you will. I think that's the number-one complaint of people applying for jobs - that the interviewing firm doesn't get back to interviewees.

Knightmare
07-14-2006, 12:11 PM
Asking someone for their weaknesses is really a loaded question... I never know how to handle that one and always screw it up.

How I've dealt with this in the past is by answering thusly:

"Sometimes I'm too much of a perfectionist. If something isn't done perfectly, I will get the job done until it's perfect, even if that means leaving the smaller, less important tasks on the wayside for a bit. A job worth doing is worth doing to the best of one's ability."

You're turning a negative into a positive, reinforcing your strong work ethic and attention to detail, and showing you care about doing your job correctly.

I've always gotten smiles from that answer.

nicegirl
07-14-2006, 03:50 PM
read over their applicaton/ resume before the appointment time. so you can be informed on what they are bringing to your company. so you will have some kind of idea of who you are interviewing and not just some nameless face.

Titi
07-14-2006, 10:38 PM
No matter what they put on the application for availibility, ask if them about it. So that there are no suprises in availibity later. Also ask straight forward the question as why they want to work at this particular store. (not with the company, but at that store.)

And also listen to your employees if all of them have had a bad interaction with the interviewee, then it's pretty obvious that they should not be hired. (As once happened at a store I worked at.)

Gurndigarn
07-14-2006, 11:07 PM
I'll second the "no really stupid questions."

First off, I'm assuming you're interviewing people for part-time, no special skills needed jobs. (This isn't an insult or a slight, BTW. Each type of job has a different style of questions. Most of the people thrown into interviewing positions without training, though, are looking for general labor.)

Always keep in mind what you're trying to screen for:

Will this person show up? And work when they're on the clock?
Is this person honest?
Does this person need constant supervision? Does he have enough of a brain to understand and remember instructions?

With that in mind, you probably want to get them to talk about past jobs, or about themselves in general. Look for (without looking like you're looking for) indications of all of the above. Reasons for leaving jobs are prime indicators, as are questions about what they liked most and disliked most about the job. And keep in mind when doing this how long they stayed at prior jobs (should be on the application or resume: don't ask them!)
Keep in mind that there are sucky jobs out there. A single job that they left for hours or conflict with management isn't necessarily bad, but should be kept in mind. More than one is either a sign of a bad applicant or one with very bad luck.

Ask them what they think the job they applied for will entail. This is usually the most telling question: it lets you know how much they prepare, and what they're really expecting to do. Also, ask them if they can do cleaning, even if you have professional cleaners do the work. A distinct "yes" means either they're neat freaks, or (more likely) that they're just trying to say the right things. A "yeah" or "I can do it", possibly with a short pause first, is usually a more positive sign. A long pause is a bad sign.

Ask them about availibility, and expected hours per week, both what they want and what they need. If you don't have what they need, don't hire them; you'll both regret it.

And finally, if hiring for someone in management or, for some other reason, need to do a more in-depth interview, when they arrive, say you're finishing something up, why don't they look around the place while they wait, you'll be less than three minutes.

After a few minutes, head on out, do the interview, then ask "so, what do you think about this place?" "What did you like?" "What would you change if you could?" These answers can be as telling as anything else you could ask.

Oh, and if they protest waiting three minutes for an interview, they don't have the patience or willingness to work with people for the job. Any job.

And, of course, make sure they have an opportunity to ask questions. Those also tell a lot about them. Some people say asking about money or hours is a bad sign, but I don't. More neutral than anything, IMO. And questions that look like they're asking about specific problems they encountered in the past are actually good, IMO, as they mean the person is learning.

Dark Psion
07-15-2006, 05:53 AM
Here is a helpful guide to doing Job Interviews;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkj4Wm6INFY&search=Monty%20Python%20-%20Job%20Interview%20

ladodger34
07-15-2006, 07:45 AM
Just from a couple of interviewing experiences (as an interviewer)...

A person that interviews really well isn't always the best candidate for the job. Said person may be able to talk a really good game, but that doesn't mean that they can walk the walk. Some of the best people we hired were folks that didn't interview the best. With my old job, the majority of people that we hired were just out of high school. They aren't exactly the most confident people in the world.

And stick to a consistent set of questions. After doing enough interviews, you'll get a good idea of what the better candidates say. If you have a good enough pre-screening process (ie apps), you'll have an even better idea.

Most importantly, don't be nervous when you are the interviewer. I remember when I first did interviews that I was a little nervous. It seemed like it would suck to determine whether or not someone got a job. After sitting through enough of them, I got more comfortable. Most of the time, you get a general idea rather early on if someone is right for the job.

As a sidenote, please take all my advice with a grain of salt. One of the best crop of kids we ever hired were screened very little with the app process. We had a big national tournament coming up and needed to hire more bodies. More or less, if they showed to the interview, they were hired. Several of them were very good workers and have moved on to bigger and better things.

JustaCashier
07-15-2006, 12:43 PM
Along with the advice already given, I think it would be a good idea to practice doing interviews with family, friends, and maybe even coworkers. It won't be exactly the same, but may help put you at ease at asking questions, and establishing an interviewing style.

Don't bother practicing on family pets if you have any. The dog will just look at you with his tongue hanging out, and wagging his tail, and the cat will just turn around, stick his butt in your face and saunter away. :p

WonTon
07-16-2006, 12:59 AM
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Everyone had great points for me. As for the weird questions that have nothing to do with the job, no worries. I'm really anal rententive about doing things by the book as far as that goes. :)

I guess I'm just more nervous about it than anything. I mean, you're screwing with someones life by deciding their financial state for them...or worse yet, your own if they suck.

Anyway, thanks guys! :)

Slave to the Phone
07-16-2006, 01:26 AM
Along with the advice already given, I think it would be a good idea to practice doing interviews with family, friends, and maybe even coworkers. It won't be exactly the same, but may help put you at ease at asking questions, and establishing an interviewing style.

Yes, yes, yes!!! This is just what I was going to suggest. Ask your trainer for her list of interview questions and then practice, practice, practice. You need to be confident and in control. If you have doubts about your performance, you will focus on them instead of the person you are interviewing.

I also agree that small talk is important. It sets you both at ease and helps you to know if this person will fit in well with the team.

...and the cat will just turn around, stick his butt in your face and saunter away. :p

I kinda disagree with this. None of my cats would never do such a thing.

They would just yawn and go to sleep :angel:

Byronthebanker
07-16-2006, 03:50 AM
I would always ask, "why us. .. lots of people offer lots of jobs all the time, why would you like to work here?"

The company had a card with about 25 pre-appoved interview quesitons on it, but that was just a guideline. Where I work now they use an interview style that starts out like, "Tell me about a time when . .. ." the subject has to tell stories from their past mostly.


I would like to ask questions more like these:
(just cause don't you think all baggers and cashiers should know this stuff?)

A train leaves Los Angeles for New York at a constant speed of 15 miles an hour. At the same moment, a train leaves New York for Los Angeles on the same track. It travels at a constant 20 miles an hour. At still the same moment, a bird leaves the LA train station and flies toward NY, following the track, at a speed of 25 mph. When is reaches the train from NY, it instantly reverses direction. It travels the same speed until it reaches the train from LA, when it reverses again, and so forth. The bird flies back and forth between the two trains until the very moment they collide. Given that the train stations are 3500 miles apart, how far will the bird have traveled?

OR

You have a 5-quart bucket and a 3-quart bucket and an infinate supply of water. How can you measure out exactly 4 quarts?

WonTon
07-16-2006, 06:04 PM
A train leaves Los Angeles for New York at a constant speed of 15 miles an hour. At the same moment, a train leaves New York for Los Angeles on the same track. It travels at a constant 20 miles an hour. At still the same moment, a bird leaves the LA train station and flies toward NY, following the track, at a speed of 25 mph. When is reaches the train from NY, it instantly reverses direction. It travels the same speed until it reaches the train from LA, when it reverses again, and so forth. The bird flies back and forth between the two trains until the very moment they collide. Given that the train stations are 3500 miles apart, how far will the bird have traveled?

OR

You have a 5-quart bucket and a 3-quart bucket and an infinate supply of water. How can you measure out exactly 4 quarts?

Haha! I work at a fine art supply store. 99% of all artists have no concept of math and such things. That actually would be a good ice breaker! :D

Gurndigarn
07-16-2006, 10:41 PM
I would like to ask questions more like these:
(just cause don't you think all baggers and cashiers should know this stuff?)

No, I don't, which is why I'ld not use them unless you're interviewing for a position that requires logic. Or having read a few logic puzzle books.

A train leaves Los Angeles for New York at a constant speed of 15 miles an hour. At the same moment, a train leaves New York for Los Angeles on the same track. It travels at a constant 20 miles an hour. At still the same moment, a bird leaves the LA train station and flies toward NY, following the track, at a speed of 25 mph. When is reaches the train from NY, it instantly reverses direction. It travels the same speed until it reaches the train from LA, when it reverses again, and so forth. The bird flies back and forth between the two trains until the very moment they collide. Given that the train stations are 3500 miles apart, how far will the bird have traveled?


It would drop dead of exhaustion and disorientation, after having flown just over two thousand miles (it would have been just under two thousand miles if the poor thing was able to reverse course with no turn radius), with a series of dizzying turns at the very end.

You have a 5-quart bucket and a 3-quart bucket and an infinate supply of water. How can you measure out exactly 4 quarts?

You can't, because it's damn near impossible to carry or pour one into the other without spilling a few drops here and there. Now, if the buckets came with gyroscopic stabalizers and liquid-inertia dampeners, you could fill up the three gallon bucket, pour it into the five gallon one, fill the three bucket again, pour out just enough to fill the five gallong one the rest of the way, dump the five gallon out, pour the remaining gallon in the three bucket in, and top off with one more three gallon bucketful.

WonTon
07-17-2006, 02:06 AM
Like I said, artist have no concept of math and numbers. My eyes just glazed over reading that, haha....

:D

You'd be a poor candidate for the job. j/k

Barefootgirl
07-17-2006, 08:56 AM
You can't, because it's damn near impossible to carry or pour one into the other without spilling a few drops here and there. Now, if the buckets came with gyroscopic stabalizers and liquid-inertia dampeners, you could fill up the three gallon bucket, pour it into the five gallon one, fill the three bucket again, pour out just enough to fill the five gallong one the rest of the way, dump the five gallon out, pour the remaining gallon in the three bucket in, and top off with one more three gallon bucketful.

*head hurts*

I want a third bucket. That way, i can fill the 5-quart bucket, then pour the contents of that bucket into the 3-quart bucket. What's left in the 5-quart bucket is 2 quarts. Put that into the 3rd bucket, then repeat.

Bella_Vixen
07-17-2006, 03:06 PM
My head hurts now.


And I am nervous for when I become assistant manager, because in my company, they don't keep you at AM for very long. They bump you up in SSL in a realtively short time. I don't think I can hadling interviewing people, I suck BEING interviwed. :lol:

DistantStar
07-17-2006, 10:25 PM
I don't interview people, but a decent chunk of my time at work I'm the operator. So if you are calling up about an application or interview or something and are rude to me, I will tell the people in personnel. They like that idea, by the way. Do take current employees' opinions into account if they interact with a candidate, please.

WonTon
07-17-2006, 11:09 PM
Funny you should mention that. ^^^ I called someone up for an interview and when I got off the phone two associates came up to me and told me what an a-hole this guy was! :eek:

I'm like, "Can you please tap me on the shoulder when someone is filling out an app so I can talk to the person to see if they are INSANE or not?!" Ahhh! I told them, from now on please put a Post It on their app describing their personality. We actually had a good laugh about this. I even had customers laughing too. :)

Come to find out, they were thinking of a different guy. The one I called was a nicer dude.

**In a perfect world, I would like to have the hopeful come and talk to management about getting a job. It would make things easier.

Becks
07-18-2006, 07:30 PM
WonTon, when I was working at the gas station, the owner asked us cashiers to put a note on the incoming applications, asking us to note if they seemed friendly, etc. One girl that I highly recommended got hired. I'm glad.

WonTon
07-19-2006, 12:18 AM
So, I got to sit in on the interview today with the guy I called yesterday. Both the SM and I have nothing but nice things to say about him. We want to hire him....but we still have one more interview tomorrow and we have to be fair. *whispers* I think our boy today will get the job. :)