This month I am presenting part one of a two-part tip – The Interview Process. In this month’s tip we will cover preparing for the interview, review some sample reference questions, identify physical areas for conducting an interview and finally, we will establish an interview agenda. Next month, I will present Part 2 where I will address how to probe for traits and characteristics of a potential employee and why this is important. I’ll provide sample interview questions and lastly, we’ll wrap up the interview process.
The interview process is not meant to be done for process’ sake. There is both a purpose to doing an interview and a measurable outcome that you must attain by the end of the interview. The purpose of conducting interviews is to fulfill your car wash staff needs. The measurable outcome of an interview is to gather enough information about a candidate to make an educated decision as to whether or not to hire that candidate. Therefore, neither the purpose, nor the measurable outcome of an interview is to actually hire!
Solid preparation is critical to the success of your interview. To appear relaxed, confident, and capable, you must be prepared. Here’s what you should do before the interview:
Call references on applications or resumes.
Note reference responses on the interview prep sheet.
This can be the most valuable step in preparation for the interview. If performed properly, a reference check can add invaluable insight to your knowledge of the candidate. Having this information before the interview makes the interview that much more productive.
There are a number of acceptable settings. The car wash property, classrooms, conference rooms, hotel rooms, your home, or a restaurant are all acceptable venues if they are quiet settings in which you will not be interrupted.
Find common ground with the candidate. Discuss areas of interest including sports, current events, mutual friends, and if all else fails, the weather! It is well worth taking a few minutes to build rapport with the candidate for a few reasons.
First, it will put the candidate at ease. A candidate at ease will be more likely to open up during the course of the interview and provide you with the concrete information that you will need to ultimately make a hiring decision.
Secondly, rapport building enables you to establish the foundation for a working relationship in the event that you hire the candidate. Remember, part of your hiring decision comes down to “Do I like this person?” and “Can I work with this person?” If you have built some rapport with the candidate, you will be able to answer these questions more accurately.
Take the candidate through what the interview will consist of:
When the candidate can ask questions, knowing what to expect will help to put the candidate at ease. At the same time, your organized approach will make a strong impression.
Robert Andre is the President of CarWash College™. Robert can be reached at RAndre@carwashcollege.com. For more information about CarWash College™ certification programs, visit www.CarWashCollege.com or call the registrar's office at 1-866-492-7422.