The Gift of Interviewing


It’s been said that an applicant looking for a new job is like an unwrapped gift that’s been dropped on your doorstep. Some may be impressively wrapped, but with nothing much inside. Others might seem simple and ordinary on the outside, but have a wealth of offerings inside.

Your job as a convenience store manager – and an interviewing expert – is to discover the potential of what’s inside the package. As you get ready to interview an applicant — the unwrapped gift — ask yourself: “What do I want to know about this person? When I take the wrapping off, what’s inside?”

The Key to Interviewing  Success: Ask the Right Questions

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you have the upper hand when interviewing. It’s sometimes the opposite. You want to find a perfect employee just as much as the applicant wants to find a great job. Also, keep in mind that many applicants are “professional interviewees” so to speak. Unless they’re brand new to the workforce, the people you are interviewing have probably answered every traditional question you can throw at them.

Sure, there are some standard questions you have to ask. Get those over quickly, and then go down the path of behavioral interviewing. Questions that focus on past behaviors rather than past experience will yield more telling answers. Behaviors are formed over time through repetition. If an individual has done something in the past, they’re more likely to repeat it in the future. Exploring past behaviors requires a little digging. You’ll get a flat “yes” when you ask: “Do you consider yourself to be an honest person?”

The follow-up question is what puts the applicant on the spot and gives you important behavioral insights. You simply ask about a specific time and place when honesty was demonstrated or put to the test. For example, “Tell me about a time when you demonstrated your honesty.”

All in all, the idea is to structure interview questions to uncover past behaviors that match up with your staffing philosophy.

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