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The third degree

We've talked before about conducting employee interviews, and using cage-rattling interview questions to get below the surface when face to face with job candidates. But just because you have some fancy tricks up your sleeve doesn't mean that you can forego more fundamental interview questions.

You'll save yourself time, money and frustration if you cover these areas right off the bat:

  • First address basic job requirements, such as hours required, or if a car needed for deliveries. Ideally these questions should be asked in a pre-screening interview, or when the application is picked up, but if not, get them out of the way at the beginning of the interview. If they can't meet the requirements, there's no need to keep going.
  • Next, move onto education and job experience. Spend time on their education and work experience. Have they had a (too) wide variety of jobs or have they had a long run with one employer? What kinds of classes are they taking?
  • If the position you're hiring for requires some basic job skills, ask questions that match up with expectations outlined in the position's job description. For example, you might ask a potential line cook what basting is, how to prepare a white sauce, or to name the two major ingredients in a marinade.
  • Include some questions that lead to insights about attitude and personality relating to the workplace. For example, you might as a server candidate, " What would you do if you suspected the host/hostess of playing favorites in assigning sections?" Or to a potential bartender, " Suppose a guest makes an insulting remark to you, personally. What would you do?"
  • Now you can throw in some of those fun cage rattling questions, then end the interview with one final question: "Based on what you have seen so far, does this seem like a position you would be interested in?" You can then speak to any reservations or misgivings the candidate may have...if you're interested in hiring them.
  • Close by explaining what happens next. Will there be another round of interviews? Personality or drug testing? Will they receive a phone call, and how soon can they expect to hear from you? And last, but not least, make notes and give each applicant a quick score so that at the end of all the interviews, it will be easier to make your hiring decisions.

By covering all of the bases, and remembering the do's and dont's of conducting interviews, you'll have a better chance of hiring qualified employees. To get you started, we've provided customizable server, line cook and bartender interviews, that include an interview assessment sheet.

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