5 Ways To Improve How You Interview Candidates in Hospitality
When most hospitality hiring managers or business owners think about how they interview candidates, they focus on the challenges facing the person being interviewed. However, the interview host has hurdles to overcome too.
From avoiding unconscious bias to selling the idea of working with your hospitality business, there are several important points to keep in mind.
Here are 5 of our top strategies to follow to improve how you interview candidates. as if you’re concerned you might not be getting the most out of your interviews.
1. Know Your Candidate Interview Options
The first step in ensuring you can master your interviews within your hospitality business is knowing what methods you can use to interview candidates.
Today, the face-to-face interview isn’t your only option. Video interviews have increased by 67% recently due to the pandemic. We know as a hospitality recruiter, hospitality businesses are always looking for ways to streamline their processes. A video interview could speed up your interview process whilst still giving you the visual you need.
There’s also the option for simple phone interviews too.
However, each type of interview has its own challenges to consider. For instance:
- In-person interviews: You’ll need to think about where you’re going to host your interview, whether it’s a welcoming space, who will attend, and whether the candidate will present or not.
- Video interviews: Consider what kind of video meeting service you’ll be using, the background you’ll have in your video, and how you can present yourself as professionally as possible over a webcam.
- Phone interviews: Ask yourself whether you may need to record phone interviews to go back over them later. There is also the challenge of getting a good idea of what the candidate is like based on voice alone.
2. Avoid Bias
It can be easy to fall into the trap on unconscious bias. For example, while certain topics of conversation can feel like polite small talk at first, they often cause more problems than you’d think. For instance, asking people about what they did on the weekend can create an unconscious bias if you also have a shared hobby.
Unconscious bias could mean you favour one candidate over another because you like certain things about their lifestyle or personality, which have nothing to do with the role. Leading to a bad hire. Everything needs to be taken into account.
A way to overcome this is to standardise your interview questions for each role. In other words, your questions relate to the role in question but are the same for each candidate you interview for that role. You’re asking the same set of questions and following the same criteria for each candidate. This makes it easier to evaluate. Of course you can probe for further information but it avoids focussing on the bias.
3. Candidate Interview Style and Format
There are many different ways to conduct candidate interviews. In addition, there are many different kinds of techniques you can use. These include:
- Competency based interviews – tests skills and behaviours’ required for the role
- Collaborative interviews
- Panel interview
- Group Interviews
- Task based interviews
- First and second stage
Using the same interview style and format for every job is probably harming your recruitment efforts. Assess each role to decide what would suit it best. For example you are looking to hire a chef, a task based interview may be better because you will want to see them create a dish. If you are looking to hire temporary waiting staff for a busy period, a quick video interview would be easier than having each potential temp in to run a task.
It’s important to note candidates Interviews are always best performed with two people from the business. It helps avoid bias.
4. Make The Interview Memorable
The hospitality industry has the biggest shortage of candidates it has ever had. In fact, it’s predicted to last until at least 2024! With that in mind, it’s no secret that the majority of hospitality candidates have an abundance of interviews lined up.
Ensuring your interview is remembered is key. This is all through the experience they receive as a candidate and selling your business as the place they want to work.
Firstly if it is a face to face or video interview, make sure it’s in the best place in the house that offers no disruptions. Candidates will be put off if you’re interrupted by people every few minutes. Same as your phone, turn it off.
Another great way is to give a guided tour of your establishment before or after you interview candidates. It provides them with a real feel for the place and the culture and vibe. If possible introduce them to people in the business too. You can also see how they interact with others.
5. Make Notes and Follow Up
Finally, make sure you take notes as often as possible as you progress through the interview. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment of the conversation and then forget everything you needed to know about the candidate when you come back to review later.
Always set aside some time at the end of each candidate interview to gather your thoughts and catalogue what stood out to you most about the candidate (good and bad). This information should accompany your scores for various standardised questions.
Making notes can also help when you’re following up with your candid
ates by allowing you to provide a more contextual and relevant message.
Showing you remember what you said (like any requirements for starting dates) shows the potential candidate you’re invested in working with them.
Remember, if you’re struggling with your hospitality interviewing process, it’s often helpful to seek some help from a specialist recruitment company like ourselves that can help with a lot more than just finding you new candidates – they can also give you advice on how to interview more effectively, with tips on questions you might need to ask.
We are a catering and hospitality recruitment agency. We have supported many businesses like yours, and recruited the staff they need to drive their business forward. If you are struggling with turnover and would like us to review and support your recruitment, get in touch today. You can call the office on 0121 314 9365 or click the link below to send us your details.