Interviewing for Attitude
Finding the best job applicant with a great attitude is the essence of the interview process. It is not an easy task but essential to the success of your business. Skills can be learned, but attitude can rarely be taught.
The interview process is a vital opportunity to assess the attitude of aspiring candidates. Most hiring managers are looking for someone who is positive and confident, a helpful team player with a positive outlook who is respectful of others. While you conduct the interview, here are some ways to get the most out of the process:
- Observe body language. Taking notice of body language, facial expressions and eye contact could give you further insight into the individual. Constant foot tapping, hand wringing and fingernail biting may indicate a lack of confidence. Crossed arms could suggest the individual is defensive, aggressive or closed-minded. Lack of eye contact not only makes it difficult for you to establish a connection, but also makes the individual appear shy and evasive. Be aware also that body language is relative to cultural background, so you may run the risk of misinterpretation. For example, some cultures find eye contact inappropriate or uncomfortable.
- Assess communication skills. Employees in the tourism industry must possess superior communication and interpersonal skills. If candidates speak in a comfortable, easygoing and welcoming way during the interview, it is likely they will also speak that way to your customers.
- Check for enthusiasm. How enthusiastic, energetic and confident is the candidate? The person you’re interviewing should be positive and confident, a helpful team player with a positive outlook and who is courteous to others. Service and attitude are fundamental for the tourism industry, so look for someone with work ethic, respectfulness, initiative, honesty, self-confidence and a cheerful outlook. Problem solvers, team players and goal setters also demonstrate a good attitude.
- Prepare a variety of questions. Different types of questions solicit different responses, some of which are better at revealing attitude than others. Closed questions reveal facts: “Do you have WorldHost training?” Open-ended questions encourage explanation: “Tell me about your last job. What did you like about it?” Situational questions provide context, and a good opportunity to gauge attitude, by presenting a what-would-you-do scenario: “A guest is rude to you. How would you react?” A combination of these types of questions will give you a full picture of the candidate’s attitude.
- Ask behavioural questions. Answers to these questions tend to reveal attitude. Ask for specific examples of how a candidate handled a previous situation. Consider these behavioural questions: “Talk about a time when you had to deal with an irate customer. Describe a situation where you had to be honest. Give an example of when you were confident in your actions. Detail steps you took to show initiative at work. Explain a time when you had to exercise self-control.” Ask the candidate to be specific. When and where did he/she demonstrate these behaviours? You can then verify this information during a reference check
This is the last part of a 3-part series on Interviewing. To read Part 1 and 2 of this series, please click on the links below:
Part 1: How to Conduct an Effective Interview
Part 2: Preparing & Conducting Interviews