When interviewing candidates for managers, do they have genuine attitudes of hospitality?

Rumor has it that Henry Ford would read a candidate over lunch to determine if they were suitable for the job. If the person salted their food before tasting it, he would discount them immediately. He believed the habit divulged the individual to be a weak decision maker and would not gauge a situation before taking action.

When interviewing a prospect for a management position in food service, it makes good sense to see them in the environment they will be working and guiding the foodservice team. After the first round of interviews, invite your candidate to lunch (off sight) to converse with them in a relaxed, neutral atmosphere. This will reveal their skills or lack of abilities that will affect your decision whether this particular person will be the long-term asset you want for your company. Notice if the applicant arrived before you or at least on time, how long it takes them to decide from the menu, what price range they ordered from? These items reveal much about the interpersonal skills necessary for desired management.

It is wise to wait until your food and drink orders have been taken before beginning questions. This will lessen interruptions from the server at times when you are most intent. Offer a problem and ask their opinion on how they would resolve it. Does the applicant listen to you while you talk or attempt to give you their view before asking for it? Noticing how the candidate relates to the person serving them exposes their respect or lack of it. This indicates how they will interact with the food serving team they will be working with. Interpersonal skills are vital in a management position. Kind Dining♥ training stresses those skills for all staff serving meals, including management. Do you detect that the candidate will be proficient at building relationships with the team? Encourage improvements of personal growth? Understand how hospitality is partnered with healthcare? Continuing education for individual goals? These are essential basics to know and indicate a bonding of teamwork. The attention paid to these factors will ensure you hire a person who respects your company, your food serving team, your residents, and your community.

You want a person who will love coming to work every day but has the ability to solve problems gracefully, satisfying all involved when those problems arise. Using these guidelines will reassure you that your instinct at the first interview was a solid one to follow up.

B♥ Kind ®Tip: Plan and prepare ahead.

About Cindy Heilman

Cindy is the founder and owner of Kind Dining®, which she began in 2006. She’s traveled across the country and Canada working with and training senior living communities that want to create an exceptional dining experience for their residents and staff. In addition, she certifies select professionals in her Kind Dining® philosophy and provides tools, now in an eLearning format, that make learning stick and help people put insights into action. As a result of her work, clients often share their staff has a new sense of purpose, get along better and keep their focus and energy on what matters most. In fact, she wrote a book, Hospitality for Boomers on how to attract residents and keep good team members. In her free time, she enjoys walking Oregon trails and cheering on her favorite soccer teams, the Portland Thorns and Timbers.

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