Customer Service Begins in the Interview


Job interviews are stressful experiences for everyone. Think about it. Do you feel comfortable talking about yourself for half an hour to convince someone you don’t even know that you’re competent, intelligent and a good risk? Probably not. You’ll find out more about an applicant if you’re able to put them at ease.

Set a Good Example in Your Interviews

The first rule of hiring great employees is to treat applicants the way you treat customers. Welcome candidates with a friendly greeting and train your staff to do the same. Be friendly, just as you would with a customer. Hold doors open. Hang up their coats. Offer them a free soda, bottled water or a cup of coffee. Make them feel wanted by being hospitable.

Set the Standard for Respect

If teamwork in your operation is based on mutual respect – as it should be – then you need to set the standard for respect starting with the interview. Don’t make applicants wait. If you positively can’t avoid a delay, greet the candidate personally, apologize and give your best estimate of how long the wait will be. When applicants are talking, give them your full attention. Maintain eye contact, nod your head up and down, and don’t interrupt.

Ask Open Ended Questions

Open-ended questions will help you get the information you need from your c-store interviews. Open-ended questions require more than just a yes or no response. They give the applicant an opportunity to talk about themselves which will help you learn about their demeanor, personality, and aptitude. Here are some examples of good open-ended questions for interviews in an establishment such as a convenience store:

  • What motivated you to apply with us?
  • If a customer was upset about a stale cup of coffee, how would you handle it?
  • Describe to me a situation where you resolved a customer service concern and brought about a positive outcome.
  • How does this job fit into your career plans?
  • Have you shopped here before? If so, what impression do you have of us?

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