The Art of Interviewing
Happy Wednesday everyone! This week I want to share some updates about things happening at Vinaigrette and with that, talk about a skill I am constantly working on getting better at — interviewing.
If you didn’t know, Vinaigrette Salad Kitchen is one of the brands operated by the Orange Consulting company. If you’re unfamiliar with us, check out our website and our Instagram to get a better idea of what we are about.
We have just recently announced that we will be opening our first location in Cincinnati, Ohio this spring! We are really excited about bringing Vinaigrette outside the Kentucky state line and entering a totally new market. There is so much to talk about when opening a new restaurant. Everything from floor plans and kitchen equipment to marketing and staffing.
I am currently working on hiring the general manager that will lead our team in entering the Cincinnati market. This is a crucial hire for us and, to be honest, I am feeling some pressure to make sure I select the right fit for our company. If you’re following along with our current book study through First, Break All The Rules you know how important the manager position is to the overall success of the team, not to mention many of you are managers who experience this every day.
This week I have spent some time refreshing my mind on interviewing and continuing to hone my skill in this area. There have been two books I have reviewed as I prepare for some in-person interviews this Friday. The first is Chapter 7 from First, Break All The Rules, which covers interviewing for talent. If you haven’t seen the video that came out with Jason and I this week check it out here. We talk about the idea of talent and what it means for someone to have a talent that fits the role you are hiring for. The second is Setting the Table, where in chapter 7 author Danny Meyer covers his team’s philosophy on interviewing and hiring. This book is always a great reminder to me about how technical skill and experience are important however the emotional aptitude someone demonstrates outweighs their technical skill and experience.
After revisiting those two chapters on interviewing and hiring I was watching a live-streamed leadership conference and the second topic they discussed was, you guessed it, interviewing. The speaker covered some of the basics of interviewing which I felt like I had a good grasp on yet the one thing he mentioned that I realized I do not do well is preparing for the interview.
Here are the main points on preparing for interviews:
- Know how much time you have for the interview
- This will vary based on the position you are filling, most likely less time for a staff member, more for a manager. Knowing this helps you decide the next question.
- How many questions will I be able to ask?
- It never occurred to me to have this thought through before the interview but it can for sure help. I have been in interviews before thinking to myself, “Was that enough questions? Or too many?” The stress of having that thought distracts me from actually listening to the candidate’s answers, and after that happens a couple times I haven’t gotten a good assessment of the candidate.
- What do I want to know?
- These are your character questions. You want to know how this person reacts to adversity, what kind of integrity they have, or what their philosophy on leadership is? When coming up with these questions ask yourself, “How do I find out who they are?”.
- What do I need to know?
- These questions are used to verify the candidate’s skills and qualifications for the job. If you’re hiring an accountant you want to know that they are detail orientated and organized which are skills every accountant needs. Ask yourself, “What must this candidate be able to do to succeed in this role?”.
Armed with these four questions, I have started to put together my plan for the upcoming manager interviews. The plan will consist of 8 to 10 questions I know I want to ask (leaving some room for follow-up questions) and, most importantly, why I am asking those questions. The goal for preparing in this way is that, once the interview begins, I will not be distracted by trying to figure out what is a good question to ask next. I will be able to simply focus on the candidate’s answers and assess if they are a good fit and feel for our company.
Leave a comment below with your go-to interview questions and what they help you assess about a candidate.
Thanks for reading and have a great week.Comments