Every business owner knows the struggle of finding the right candidate to fill a new role.
Whether you run a small or medium sized lingerie business, taking on new staff members is always something of a leap. You need to ensure that the person you hire is right for your business; that they can do the role and they fit your company culture.
As the owner of a lingerie store, you need to know that the candidate you choose is up to the job. Often enough, that’s easier said than done. Still, when it comes to the interview scenario, you have a chance to really get to know each candidate.
Here are six good questions to ask in an interview:
"Tell me about at time you failed and what it taught you."
Failure is a part of life. You’d be hard pressed to find a candidate who hadn’t tried and failed at something during their career. However, it’s not the failure here that’s particularly important — it’s what they learned from it. When people make mistakes or errors, it teaches them how not to do things and that’s a very important thing to know in itself.
When you ask a candidate this question, you want to find out what they’ve learned over the years. What you’re really asking for here is a little self-reflection. You need to know that this candidate has the ability to understand when they mess up and, crucially, to rectify it in the future as well. What’s more, if they claim that they have ‘never’ failed at anything they’ve tried, that’s a major red flag.
"What is your proudest accomplishment?"
On the flip side of the last question, you need to see that they can self-reflect on the positive things that they have achieved over the years. A small and medium lingerie business will flourish when it has people on board who celebrate their accomplishments. It shows that they value their work and actively try to progress in every area they can.
The ideal candidate will have a couple of stand-out examples of the achievements they have made. These accomplishments may well be something as small as ensuring that a customer was totally satisfied with a transaction. Alternately, they could something bigger like increasing the overall sales by 15%. It doesn’t really matter. What matters here is that the person can identify them and explain how they helped their previous employer.
"How would you approach an angry customer?"
Few people out there enjoy dealing with conflict. Coming face to face with someone who wants to have an argument/make a complaint, can be a little intimidating, for the best of us. However, it’s likely something with which we will all have to deal at some point or another, especially when you work in a commercial industry.
Listen carefully to see what the candidate says here. There’s no doubt about it — it’s a seriously tricky question, but their answer will reveal a lot about how they see customers. You want to hear that the candidate would listen to what a customer has to say and endeavor to sort out the situation independently. You also need to know that they would have no issue asking for your advice/help should this matter be outside of their expertise.
"How do you let go and have fun?"
It might sound like an odd question to ask a potential employee, but it could reveal more than you know. None of us are robots; we don’t live to solely work. Understanding how a candidate spends their spare time will give you an idea of what they value and what type of personality they have.
As a lingerie store owner, you want to know what this person values when they’re not at work. For example, if you find that the person is learning a foreign language or that they are absolute fitness freaks, you will know that the they are quite dedicated. Self-progression should be important to them as it will drive them to work harder than ever before. So, if you find that this is the case, snap them up.
"What books are you reading right now?"
Similarly, you need to understand what this person’s interests are. While there’s nothing all that wrong with someone reading fiction, it may be better if they are the type of person who loves to learn as they read. For example, if they happen to read books that offer advice on career progression or, indeed, business in general, they may be a real winner.
What’s more, you will find that their answer reveals quite a lot about their personality. Since you will be building a professional relationship with this person, and so this may give you a little insight into their character. Remember, the more you can learn about a candidate at interview stage, the better armed you are to make the right decision on them.
"What makes you uniquely qualified for the role?"
Finally, you need to figure out what this person believes they can bring to the role. What is it that they have that no one else has? What can they bring to your lingerie store that no one else can? This question will really make the candidate consider what it is that they can bring to the role and, crucially, why you should take a chance and hire them. Again, this is a question that can turn out to be very revealing. For example, you could find that this person has a hidden talent for social media or writing.
At the very least, you will find that this question gives the candidate pause and allows them to reflect on why they deserve the job. That should make for an interesting conversation which means that you get a chance to delve into this area together.
Keep in mind that an interview is your chance to learn as much as you can about the shortlisted candidates. You need to use this time wisely. So, the more you can get them talking and opening up about themselves, the better it will be for your business. Start with these six crucial questions and see where the talks take you. In time, you will find just the right person for the job at your lingerie store!