How to Interview Hospitality Candidates From Start to Hire

Why did we hire that person? I’m sure that’s a question you’ve asked yourself in the past about a new hire. The truth is, hiring can often be a frustrating experience for the management team as a whole. So what can we do to ensure that the candidates we hire turn out to be the great employees we’d hope for? Use the interview as your final test, and make it one that can only be passed by those that have the skills and personality for which you’re looking.

Defining the Interview Process

In order for your interviews to be successful, a standard procedure must be in place. After all, we all know how easy it is to mismanage this integral step in the hiring process. From crossed lines of communication to scheduling mishaps, there are so many places to take a wrong turn. So, avoid the disorder and create an outline to be used each and every time your group needs to hire.

Here are a few things your procedure must address:

  • An accessible and universal interview schedule template (interviewing with who and when).
  • Effective interview questions that your management team can reference if necessary.
  • Access to current job postings so that everyone is on the same page as to job requirements, necessary qualifications and experience level.
  • The number of interview rounds required before a decision can be made.
  • The review process in which the management team communicates the pros and cons of each candidate

Once the process has been created, stick to it! Make revisions when necessary, but be consistent in following the guidelines. This will not only reduce stress but also lead to better hiring decisions in the end.

Time to Interview

Once you’ve decided on the standard operating procedure in terms of logistics, it’s time to get to the good stuff — the actual interview. Of course, asking the right questions is crucial.

While there will have to be some clear cut questions asked (about experience and such), the most revealing questions are those that are open-ended. Questions that require candidates to think through their answers will give you a broader understanding of who they are and what they can bring to the table.

It’s also imperative that different questions are asked in every interview round so that as much information about the candidate can be gathered. This is where communication between managers is necessary. Best practice is to have all managers involved in the decision-making process briefed following each interview.

Last but not least, don’t forget that the interview is not one-sided. Candidates are also interviewing us, so just as they have to prepare, we do too. Ensure that the management team is ready to answer any questions that candidates may ask and that the rest of the staff is aware that an interview is taking place.

Decisions, Decisions

Now that the interviews are completed, it’s time to hire. Ideally, before any decisions are made, the pros and cons of each candidate should be discussed at management meetings so that everyone who took part in the interview process can give their input.

However, this may not always be an option, so then it’s up to the owners, chefs or GM’s to collect the information and communicate with the rest of the team. If that person is you, consider every piece of information you’re given and don’t be hasty in deciding who to hire because it will do more harm than good.

The main takeaways here are that a consistent and organized hiring process is essential to making the right additions to your staff. Take the necessary steps throughout this vetting process even if that means committing more time to this stage because, in the end, the interview really should be a test that only the best employees pass.


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Originally published on The Sirvo Blog

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