Interview Questions

So my wife and I are relativity new owners and looking for a good set of standard questions everyone likes to ask before hiring staff members.

Check pulse… get a small mirror so see if they can fog it. Ask how IQ compares to room temperature.

Check basic math skills: You buy a 12-pack of beer to split with your two housemates after work, but one has the night off. You would plan to split the rest with your other housemate when you get home. Your other housemate gets off at 10. How many beers will be left for you get as long as you are home by midnight? (Correct answer is zero or maybe one: housemate with night off drinks 6. You really think the other housemate is waiting for you when he sees the other guy digging in?)

Check ability to tell time: If you work to midnight and your room mates drank all the beer before you got home, how early do you have to get up in order to eat, do errands and make a liquor store run (and HIDE the beer this time) before going to work and arrive on time at 4PM? (If the answer is 3:45 hire as a driver. If the answer is 3PM hire as a cook. If the answer is 2PM hire as assistant manager)

Check work ethic: If the store is going to do a big night tomorrow and you just about run out of dough tonight you do which of the following: A. Nothing, not my job. (hire as driver), B. Say, “wow, we about killed the dough!” (hire as phone person), C. Mention to manager “dude, you are going to be hating prep tomorrow!” (Hire as cook) D. Start making dough (Hire as assistant manager)

Sorry… had to have some fun.

We do ask for references. If no one on staff knows them we call. We ask about other pizza and restaurant experience. We ask about schedule availability and how many hours they want to be sure it is a match with what we need to hire. (For example. if we need a day shift driver we need to know if they can work days!) Mostly, pizza work is pretty darn easy and we are trying to hire people to get along as part of a crew. I would rather hire people who are easy to work with and train them over pizza hot-shots that are jerks. To that end, an easy conversation about anything is going to give me a better sense of how they relate to other employees and to customers than a formula interview will.

LOL. Great stuff bodegahwy. I think I’m gonna add those to my written interview questions. :slight_smile:

Ask if they are living at home with parents. For host/counter help that is acceptable, usually high school kids. For cooks and waitstaff i would rather hire someone that has rent to pay! Far less likely to blow you off on a saturday night,Or just quit,I also ask how long they worked at previous jobs and reason for leaving, i much prefer some one who stays a long time at their previous jobs, no job skippers ,

I run into a lot of people that can not effectively communicate verbally, a skill which is essential when we are busy. Years ago somebody posted an interview question that helps weed these out. “Tell me how to get from here to your house” ( or school or old job or anything they are not expecting and ready for). But as Bogeda said, a casual conversation about the job will give you an idea of whether or not you want this person around you every day.

Thanks for the reply’s. My last few hires have basically been oh you can stand on Two feet and move your arms in a controlled manner, you are hired.

I’m becoming a big fan of open interviews. We set aside a 2 hour block of time within the time the employee would be expected to work and take applications, interview & screen during that time. When the application process is done on our time, we seem to get a better crop of applicants than just taking them whenever it is convenient for the applicant. We use a modified version of Bill Marvin’s screening interview to grade the applicants: So have a cattle call, grade everyone that shows up, and hire the cream of the crop.

“Can you count to eleven without removing a shoe, or unzipping your pants”?
“How many times per week do you feel it is acceptable for you to miss work on your scheduled work days” (you may be saddened with their answers)

I’ve had people with high school diplomas applying who spelled Diploma as “Dipma” on their application, I have had people who cannot tell time from an analog clock, people who cannot add & subtract single digit numbers accurately.
I do not mind having employees who partake in consumption of THC, it is the drinkers who are hell to have as employees.

I prefer more of a physical, working interview than a spoken one, I’ve had many people fabricate or exaggerate work experience only to find they knew not even the most basic kitchen skills, show me you can do what you said you can do.
I also have a 1-week probationary period at 75% their pay rate, I’ve been burned too many times to train at full wage to start at full pay these days.

I toss them a dough ball, and ask them to build me a pizza. I hope they ask me some specific questions so I know if they can communicate properly on the line.

When I was more into fine dining, I had my prospects cook a 3-course meal for 3 people, and only using what they find on the line, it showed me that they can think on their own, be creative, function under pressure, and that they understand pairing things together so they work as a whole. Why did I do this, to find someone who has the ability to replace me if I decided I wanted to take a break

I was just given an application with the following answers:

[INDENT]How did you hear of this opportunity? I seen the pizza parlour
Pay Expectations? $5.00 per hour
Specify the highest level of education completed B+
Specify any training related to the position applied for home[/INDENT]

You have to give the kid credit for looking for a job

For servers I always ask what do you like to do for fun.

@GotRocks I also have a 1-week probationary period at 75% their pay rate, I’ve been burned too many times to train at full wage to start at full pay these days.
is this legal?

Without being a lawyer :), i would say as long as it is above min wage you are fine.

My probie pay is still above minimum, so all’s well.
I’ve only ever started 2 people at minimum wage, they were both vocational rehab participants. One was a first job, the other couldn’t hold a job for more than a few days due to him just not caring about anything, and having zero life skills whatsoever. I tried, I really did try to keep them. but they both needed constant uninterrupted supervision and i had to let them go when it became a safety issue.

If a pizza is cut into eight slices and a customer asks for 1/4 pepperoni, how many slices will have pepperoni on them?

Four slices. We don’t do quarters! haha


One other question that I have been needing top ask; (maybe/hopefully this isn’t specifically challenging to only my area)
“Do you plan on being incarcerated, or do you have any court dates coming up where you will most likely end up in jail soon?”

Don’t laugh, many judges in this area will do probation if the defendant finds gainful employment, or if steady employment is ordered as a condition of their probation.
I had one applicant tell me that all his court and jail time is completed, he then went on to explain how he got busted breaking into storage units. So curiosity got the best of me, I asked him which storage business did he steal from, With a smile he explained that he stole from pretty much all of them, but only got caught for 3 or 4.

We ask what holiday plans they have. If the answer includes going out of town… no hire. We do 3X our average week between Dec 26 and New Year’s Day. If we can do without you that week, we can do without you all year!