On the fourth week of Christmas, my recruiter gave to me – Interview questions for your new employee!

The most common question we get asked when speaking directly to managers about how their candidate screening process is going is “what interview questions should I be asking?”

There’s no specific template of questions that you should be asking, however there are some areas to cover that will give you, the interviewer, an excellent insight into how a candidate would integrate into your team and how passionate they are about what they do. 

  1. A question around problem solving

 Give them a real life example of an area for improvement in your salon or clinic, and ask for their take on it. For example, “we are currently experiencing price wars with other salons in the area, what would your suggestion be in managing this?” Most of the time you already have a pretty clear plan about how you would manage the situation, but what you’re looking for is an indication that they are on the same page as you. What’s even better is if they present an idea that you hadn’t even considered and may be an option. 

  1. Do they have a clear strategy?

So many candidates expect that they will start a new business and rely on the salon to provide them with the clients, when in actual fact, building a solid client base is the responsibility of both parties. Ask them questions around their strategies for building their clientele over the initial 6-12 month period, and make sure their vision is realistic within your business. For example, “what are your goals for your client following within your first year and give specific examples of how you intend to achieve that goal.” 

  1. Are they innovative and proactive?

Training is a crucial aspect of any work place, however it isn’t the sole responsibility of the business to make sure that the employee is up-to-date on new trends, treatments or ideas. Ask the candidate to give you an idea of how they keep updated with what is going on the industry and ask them to make predictions about what trends we’ll be seeing in the coming months or years. This will give you a very clear impression of how passionate they are about maintaining their expert status in what they do. 

  1. Questions about their job search

Many people find asking questions about the candidate’s job search invasive, but it’s crucially important to know where else that person is interviewing and where they are at with their application. Asking the simple question, “where are you currently at with your job search?” will give you an insight into how much time you have in making a decision about this candidate. If they are already at trial shift stage elsewhere, you can’t really afford to be leaving it a week before getting back to them. Also asking “what are the most important factors for you in assessing if a position is right for you?” will pretty quickly allow you to identify if the position you are offering is suitable for them. For example, if they are looking for a position that allows them to only perform the certain treatments that they enjoy the most, but it wouldn’t be possible or fair on other team members for you to offer that, you know that you’re not going to be the best fit for each other. 

  1. Would they accept?

This is an often forgotten and crucially important question to ask candidates. “If I were to offer you the position now, would you accept it, and why or why not?” Many business owners find themselves thinking that they are in the position of power when it comes to the interview process, when in actual fact (especially now), we are experiencing a severe skills shortage and an experienced candidate is hot property. Once you have established that you are sitting with a candidate that may be right for your business, you need to carefully balance the traditional interview process with the sales process. If you can gauge with the candidate why they would or would not accept a position with you, you can manage any objections, validate any praise or excitement about the role, and ensure that they have all their facts straight about the position before they potentially accept or even decline the opportunity. Checking the temperature of a candidate that you’re interested in will save you a lot of time and energy later on.