We Are Sunshine

Interviewing Tips from David McFarland

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

When you get to the point of interviewing people, this is a staged event. Iff you want to find good people, you’re goingg to have to put some more time into it. A salon I know stages every part of the process. When the person comes in, they make sure the owner is doing another interview in back and the potential employee has to wait for the owner to interview. You’re going to find out so much more, because young people are really good at telling people what they want to hear. That’s what an interview is. Why not put some things in place where it isn’t scripted. Have a couple of their peers up front, and they play a part in it. Say, “Look, they’re going to come in, this is the first interview, and we want you to gather a little info and be detectives before we even interview them. The person’s going to come in, and you’re going to find out how they react to being told to wait.” If they get all bent out of shape, that tells a lot more than vanilla  questions you ask back in the interview. If you can get a little clever, you can stage the beginning where the employees ask some questions and see how they react. How is the chemistry between the interviewee and the current employees? They might find this person is really talkative and has a good vibe with people. How do they treat your staff? What do they say about past work relationships?

Competency can’t be determined through an interview. You have to dig deep on checking references. People are good at showing one part of their life that’s really shiny and pretty and cute. W have this whole generation, with social media, that is great at showing one part of their life. Let’s see who they really are, and how you do that is spend more time on the part of the process where you’re checking stuff. You know they talked to their references and told them to only say good things. The employee is staging things too. So, you stage a few things for that. Check with coaches. Check with teachers. This is hard to do, but it’s easy to find people on social media these days. Ask teachers and coaches and find some of their friends they didn’t give as references. A lot of times when people apply, theres a good chance somebody in that company knows them. My point is, take more time in that part of the process. Dig a little on some people.

Appearance…my parents told me this — if somebody cared enough to make themselves look good, that goes a long way. It shows they care enough about how you’re perceiving them. We could effectively eliminate at least 50 percent of candidates just on the way they look. I think that’s important. Don’t lie to yourself. You might want to get somebody in there so bad you’ll ignore stuff. Don’t make excuses for them. Trust me – kids that are conscientious know they want to look decent for a job interview.

I heard an employer say they ask themselves with every candidate, “Would I want my children or family to work with this person?” If the answer is no, don’t ever hire them

If you really want to interview right it should take more than one interview. I don’t are if it’s entry-level bed cleaner. You’re really molding them for a sales position, I love salons that make people work their way up to sales positions. You have to earn the right to deal with the customers and provide the experience for the guest. Making commission and bonuses, you have to earn that. You have to show you’re great at talking to people and creating a vibe that represents the business.

Somebody that’s good is probably already working somewhere. Salons and mangers that market for employees find them all kinds of places. Good managers and owners should always have a cool calling card for other employees where they do business. Some of the best employees are stolen. In retail and beauty, we steal a lot. We’re going to steal sales from other people — drug stores, groceries, Walmart. You’re also going to steal employees sometimes. When you find somebody who’s helped you amazingly, say, “Hey, I think you’d fit really well with us. Do you like to tan? Here’s a free week tan. Come check us out. That’s one of the perks we offer.”

I always give a candidate a chance to meet your current team. A little dry run is a good idea. Do an hour run through. Set up a Saturday night for them to spend an hour with your staff and get to know them. Get two or three people from the current staff and see how they vibe with them.

In the interview process, a fantastic thing to do is try to talk them out of the job. Go, “Hey, listen, we get really busy. You’re going to have to wear many hats. We have customers that can be really picky. A big part of your job is selling and talking to people.” Put some pressure on them. I love that because it will weed out people. If you can talk them out of the job now, that’s way better than putting resources into them and they quit because they hate it anyway. Say our industry has suffered from bad press – get into that. Why skirt it? It’s common knowledge anyway. I’ve taking to employees at salons that are like, “Oh, I’m so embarrassed when somebody comes in bashing our industry. Let them know that’s going to happen. How do you feel about that? If you’re not aligning beliefs, that might not be a good fit. I want somebody that aligns with my beliefs and passions. If I’m passionate about my tanning business and what I’, doing for my customers then, I want them to be too, or it’s not going to be a good fit.

Did they get there on time? Dressed like they care about getting the job? Young people will slip up all the time and might start badmouthing or talking negatively about past jobs. Don’t ignore that. If you’re going to market for people and have a great staff, you can’t ignore that. “I just didn’t agree with everything that happened at my last salon and a few people I didn’t get along with.” A siren goes off in my head. Or, “There was one person there that really inspired me, and I learned a lot. The owner used to do this and I love that.” That person is coachable, and appreciates the effort we put into them.

Take a second — they’re going to be on social media — look them up and see what they’re saying. There are some normal things are going to do, but you can tell the difference between that and somebody that’s on social media and just stirs stuff up says inappropriate stuff.