How Would They Handle An Irate Customer?

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This is a great question for those applying for a position that involves regular contact with customers.

But instead of having your applicant simply answer it, why not see how they would actually handle it.

There’s nothing like a live exercise to find out how skilled someone is, right?

So, let’s set the scene:

“Sarah, you’re going to be the store manager in this live exercise. I’ll be Mary, a very upset customer who has just come over to you demanding her money back. She’s loud and you can see she’s having an effect on the other customers in the store.”

And then do your best to give a realistic display of what this irate customer might say and see how Sarah responds.

I understand each store may have their own refund policy, and if you want to briefly describe yours to Sarah to make this exercise more realistic, that’s not a bad idea.

Observing how Sarah would apply a store policy would be helpful, but the main thing you want to see in action are Sarah’s “people skills.” How does Sarah defuse this irate customer so that the other customers aren’t negatively affected AND so that Sarah feels she’s being genuinely attended to.

You could do several versions of this. I would suggest starting off by making it fairly easy for Sarah and then make tougher each time. Maybe you start crying at the end and see how Sarah deals with that.

Just suggestions, folks. The purpose here is to observe your applicant in action and handling what is likely one of the more difficult situations he or she will encounter.

You might learn more about Sarah in 10-15 minutes of this kind of live exercise than you might in hours long interviews without the live exercise.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


What Does A Company Owe Its Employees?

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I’m reading an excellent eBook entitled “From Q&A to Z, the Hiring Manager’s Complete Interviewing Guide.” Inside are a number of excellent hiring tips.

You might ask, why would I promote a competitor’s product here?

Well, it’s a big world, and I imagine my company’s clients and prospective clients can benefit from quality information from more than one source.

Here’s the link to this eBook. When I tried the link just now, it wasn’t working, but I believe that’s a temporary issue. If you’re not able to access the eBook from the link, send me a message here and I’ll forward you the eBook directly.

From this eBook, I noticed an intriguing question you could ask your applicants:

“What does a company owe its employees?”

The answers you get are likely to be all over the spectrum.

Some may say they expect a great deal from the company and you may get a long list of specific items the applicant believes they are owed.

Others may tell you the company simply owes them a proper monetary exchange and that the APPLICANT wants to perform at a high level and demonstrate their value to the company before additional exchange is considered.

Between those two views will be a variety of responses.

And I’m sure your personal view of what your company “owes” your employees will influence how you interpret the responses you get.

All things considered, your applicant’s answers will tell you a great deal about their future expectations with you.

Then of course it comes down to whether you feel you can meet those expectations.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


How Long Do You Plan On Sticking Around?

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That’s an interesting question to ask an applicant and a simple wording would be:

“Sarah, if we hired you, how long do you plan on sticking around?”

Sarah’s answer should deliver an insight into her potential longevity with you.

If her answer doesn’t give you a good sense of commitment, that’s worth knowing ahead of time.

But that also begs the question, being asked more and more these days:

How long should a new employee commit to the company?

One could answer that question philosophically, or one could simply find out directly from the applicant.

And the interesting flip side to the question “how long do you plan on sticking around” is:

“Sarah, under what circumstances would you leave?”

Again, a fairly direct question.

If Sarah’s answer touches on things that were done “to her” at her previous jobs, that’s not the height of responsibility.

But she may also mention not feeling “sufficiently challenged” or she may be candid and project another job offer that she couldn’t turn down.

When you ask these two questions:

How long do you plan on sticking around?

and

Under what circumstances would you leave?

You could cut through some of the potentially canned (or prepared) responses and gain some good insights into your applicant.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


Getting Off to a Good Start

new hires

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I was at Monster’s web site and saw a few questions you could ask applicants on the subject of “getting started.”

What do you see yourself accomplishing in the first 30 days here?

How would you go about quickly establishing your credibility with our team?

If hired, describe your strategy for the first 90 days.

How long would it take for you to make a significant contribution here?

For your “serious” positions, I like these questions. They are asking your applicant to stretch a bit and look into their possible future with your company.

Some applicants have quite a bit visualized as a potential member of your team and they will likely give you solid answers to all of the above.

What if you’re hiring a stock clerk or a waitress, would you still want to ask these questions?

My answer is a simple: “Absolutely!”

Asking every applicant how they believe they can bring value to your company only grants dignity to them, to the available position and to your company.

So there you go. Find out what your bright-eyed prospects would do to get out of the starting gate and you’ll likely gain some welcome insights.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


Let’s See What You Can Do!

Hiring Show and Tell
Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

This tip is similar to an earlier one, but I wanted to give it a different spin here.

Let’s give your applicant a very specific assignment and have him carry it out as part of the hiring interview.

A few examples:

Have a customer service candidate review how customers are handled from pre-sale all the way through to fulfillment and follow-up and have the candidate write up how this could be improved.

If someone is applying for the collections position, do a bit of role playing. Have the candidate go down the list and attempt to collect the amounts from you.

Sales is another great position for role playing. Describe a few different selling scenarios and have the candidate take you from start to finish of the sales process.

For some of these, you could even include a time element, say 30 or 60 minutes.

A smiling candidate with a well-rounded résumé is a good start. A candidate who performs right in front of you will take you considerably closer to hiring the right person.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


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