Conducting Nightclub Security Interviews, Part 2

Last week we started to discuss the basics of interviewing Security Staffers. This week we’ll get into a little bit more detail.

GUIDING THE INTERVIEW

Right off the bat, you want to be the one directing the interview, not the Interviewee. So make sure that you have your questions ready to go. And when formulating your questions, consider not only the information that the Interviewee will give you – like the basics of who they are and where they’ve worked – but where the questioning may lead.

Oftentimes, an answer to an interview question will give you an idea as to something else you’d like to ask that you hadn’t considered. Conversely, you can ask a question that forces your interviewee to disclose more than they expected. Asking your Interviewee an unusual question can help give you insight to their personality or personality quirks. One of my favorite questions is seemingly pretty straightforward:

“Tell me about the worst job you’ve ever had?”

First off, most people have at least one complaint about somewhere they have worked. There is always something that bothers you about your job. Always. Second, by asking this question – which most people will readily answer – it relaxes your Interviewee. “Wow, he’s asking about that really crappy job, now I can vent.” It’s a little tricky, but getting an Interviewee to relax will allow you to see the parts of their personality that they usually wouldn’t reveal. Especially during an interview! Third, when people vent about things they don’t like, it will give you an idea of whether they will be a good fit for your establishment. Interviewees have actually told me that they couldn’t stand their last boss because he expected them to always be one time. No, really, that happened.

SO, HERE’S THE PROBLEM

Remember our recent post about Scenarios? Now would be a great time to ask your Interviewee some of those scenarios questions. Think up any number of things that could go wrong during a shift and ask them how they would handle it. Again, the answers can be incredibly revealing. And better to ask now than find out the hard way when something goes wrong.

I generally ask between 3-4 scenarios questions dealing with:

  • Intoxicated Patrons
  • Intoxicated Co-workers
  • Altercations and Ejections
  • Incidents in general

Asking questions relating to behavior is another great interview tool. Have they made any mistakes on the job? How did your Interviewee react to making the mistake? Have they had conflicts with management and how where they resolved? Scenarios and behavioral questions go a long way to seeing if your Interviewee will be the right fit for your establishment.

NON-VERBAL? 

Besides taking notes on your Interviewees answers, you should also be watching their body language? Do they appear nervous? Flustered? Poised? How did they act towards your receptionist/host/hostess when they arrived for the interview? How did they act after the interview? Pay attention to their non-verbal cues, things like shifting in their seat, avoiding eye contact, or excessive perspiration. If they are nervous to begin with, do they calm down as time goes on? Are they watching you or the clock?

THAT’S A WRAP. AND FOLLOW-UP.

Remember, you are the one dictating when the interview begins and ends. Make sure to let the know that their time is up and that the interview is over. Thank them for coming in and ALWAYS ask if they have any questions for you. The good candidates usually do.

After the interview, review your notes, make reference calls and background checks, and ask your co-interviewers (if you had any) their opinions. And make sure to take note of your Interviewees’ responses to the interview opportunity itself. Have they written you a “thank-you email”? Have they called to expand on earlier answers? Do they have further questions? Make sure that you note these things.

Once you have reviewed things on your end, I would suggest a second interview. You can make this less formal, add additional interviewers, or even do it over the phone. Involve those people who you think are important to the hiring process (ahem, Head of Security) and have a new set of questions to ask. Chances are this second interview will only confirm your decision to hire, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. Never feel obligated to hire someone because they’ve made it this far into the process.

Take your time. Even if you need to hire someone ASAP, you still have time to think about your decision. Better to take time on the front end than have to deal with the flak later. Remember, this individual will (hopefully) be with you for a while, make their hire a carefully thought-out choice. Good luck and happy hunting!

Until next time…

Conducting Nightclub Security Interviews, Part 1

Inevitably, a time will come when you need to conduct interviews for Security Staffers. Maybe you are a new establishment, maybe you just fired some workers, or maybe you just need more bodies. Regardless of the reason you need new Staff, you should always take the same measured, careful approach to hiring. Unless, of course, you enjoy lawsuits, irresponsible workers, and an overall useless Staff. Hey, you might like those types of aggravation….but I hope not. Today will discuss some interview basics.

SETTING UP INTERVIEWS 

Many people like to schedule interviews with open-ended hours, i.e. “Interviewing between 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.” I have found that this approach may work with a large group of Interviewees, but more often than not it leads to “bunching” with many people showing up at the front and back end of the time slots or a large group of people sitting around waiting to be interviewed. I prefer an approach whereby a set time is given to prospective employees, “We have a few slots available between 9 and 12. What works for you?” This not only places the initiative in the Interviewees’ hands, but allows you to set a fixed time for interview length, say 15 minutes.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Where will you be conducting your interviews? Office? Dance Floor? Park Bench? Will the Interviewees be seated in close proximity to those being interviewed and be able to hear the questions? Or will they be in a separate room? No matter where you conduct the interviews, make sure you have comfortable seating, good ventilation, and a little water – for both you and the Interviewee.

THE AGENDA

You’ve got your interviews set-up, now what? First and foremost, YOU need to be organized. Do you:

  • Have an individual folder for each Interviewee?
  • Have a printed schedule of interview times?
  • Have a notepad and pens or pencils?
  • Have a business card ready to hand out?
  • Have a copy of each Interviewees’ resume/application (with notes?)

Your agenda should also include the order in which you want to run the interview: introduction, position details, company information, interview questions, closing, etc. The Agenda is one of the most important parts of your interview because it shows the Interviewee that you are organized, prepared, and ready to go.

So, now your interviews are scheduled, your location is finalized, and your agenda is looking sharp. Let’s go out there and do some interviewing!

JUST THE FACTS, MA’AM. OR SIR.

Just like Detective Joe Friday, you want good, solid information with which to work. Your first set of interview questions should relate directly to the information the Interviewee has given you on their application/resume. This will not only confirm that the information is true (What!? You mean people lie on applications and resumes!?), but can help fill in any gaps on the written page. Some possible questions:

  • How long did you work for Billy’s Bar
  • Tell me about your job duties at Billy’s Bar
  • What were working the conditions at Billy’s Bar
  • Why do you want to work for us

Questions like these will give you a foundation from which to build the rest of your interview and help you to guide the interview in the direction you wish it to go.

So, what direction is that? Well, you’ll have to tune in next week for Part 2. Sorry, I couldn’t resist the cliff-hanger!

Until next time…