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  • Interviewing help

    Ok, I have got 3 people I'm going to interview on Monday. I've got From Problems book and will be cramming all the info into my brain from that. What I want is personal advice, good questions, things to look for, red flags, etc etc. I so badly want to get this right, and not make it a horrible situation for all involved. Please help, I need you guys' expertise.

    Ex: 1) one lady says she can only work 9-2 while her kids are in school, those hours are fine with me, but do I worry about her not showing when her kids are sick, and what about summer??? holidays???

    2) another girl is going to school to be a vet assistant, and would "love a chance at this job".

    Pros, cons, help, please! TIA
    Erin
    No Fur, No Paws, No Service.

  • #2
    Red Flag: Wears a half shirt with her belly fat hanging over (at least, that's what my boss said she was relieved NOT to see when I came to interview), LOL.

    The vet tech sounds like the one to look at. I agree with the mommy issues, but it's hard to tell, you want a good person to have a chance, but definitely hate to get that call, "Suzy is sick this morning, I can't make it in."

    Good luck, Erin. Good news for you, hiring your first employee!

    Tammy in Utah
    Groomers Helper Affiliate

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    • #3
      same here.. I'm advertising help wanted so i'll be keeping an eye on this thread too!

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      • #4
        Any responsible parent will have a back up plan for days the kids are out of school or sick. Sometimes the back up will fall through, but she should have a good plan. Summer time she wil just have to pay a sitter just like the rest of us.

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        • #5
          For the lady with the children, you might want to ask:
          "What arangements have/will you make for your children when they are out of school? Summer time and holidays are very busy times and I will need someone who can work during these times. Is this going to be a problem?"

          That way, you put the ball in HER court. She will either say, "OH, I have a sitter lined up for those times" OR "Well, I haven't really thought about it" OR "I don't think I can leave my children with a sitter"
          Something along those lines. This will give you a better idea if this person is really serious about a job and if she's willing to do what it takes. Granted, this is NOT 100% reliable, but....

          The student:

          She is going to school to be a vet tech. While she may really want this job and the experience, are you willing to put in the time and money to train her, only for her to leave when she completes school OR gets offered a position in a vet clinic?
          You may want to ask her, "What are your aspirations for the future? What is important to you? Why do you want this job?
          ALSO:
          "Well, I see you are in school to be a vet assistant. How are your classes scheduled and will you be able to work the hours that I need you? We can be very busy during summer and holidays and would need someone that can be here during those times. Is this going to be a problem for you?"

          Either one of these applicants could be great people and workers and I really don't want to come across in a negative way, but these situations have burned me in the past (in retail managment) so I am leary, but open to their answers. Some times, you don't even have to say much, just listen to them talk. Alot of times, people will start talking and can't stop and others will answer your questions with short, curt answers. You can tell alot about a person by the way they communicate during a job interview.

          I'm sure that you will find some one that is just right.

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          • #6
            Make sure you ask the mom about what she plans on doing in the summer, holidays and when there sick. Also ask what ages the children are. The younger they are I think the more problems she's going to have. I myself always assure that my children won't get in the way much because I have very helpful parents that watch him when I need them to.

            For the soon to be vet tech, how old is she? Will her school hours interfere with the work hours? Maybe once she's done she'll be looking for a job in her field.

            Are you looking for someone long term? Will you eventually teach them to be a groomer? If your looking for a long term bather only. I'm thinking the mom might be more up your ally, but who knows.

            Ask a lot of questions if your looking for long term bather. Ask them where they picture them selves in 5 years. If one says another job then you might not want them. If they have aspirations to be a groomer and your not offering that. That's another problem.

            Watch out for there maturity level. I've seen a lot of young people that would call out the day after they get paid. I think that's ridiculous. Try to find out if there working because they need money or other reasons. Such as a little extra money for themselves, experience or there just board and want to get out of the house. I've been in all those situations at some point, but the only thing getting me out of bed when I'm sick is the need for money.

            I wish you all the best! Can't wait to see who you chose!!

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            • #7
              Congrats

              Hi ejmj30-

              First congrats on being sucssesful enough to hire employee's.
              My advice comes from a couple of years hiring for entry level airline employees. I can see already you are talking to the same type of people we get. First I will say we hire these types of people, but we do it knowing they are not staying long term. Ask yourself are you looking for a long term dedicated employee?

              You have a mother, who has already started laying down her own rules for your business. Don't forget it is your business and she works for you. What will this lady do if she is finishing up a groom, something happens and the groom goes longer than 2? Will she kennel the dog and walk out on you because her children have to be picked up at 2? Is she going to be flexable on this 2:00 time frame. 9:00 is Ok as long as it is ok with you but the 2:00 time frame can bite you in the butt if she just drops everything thinking she is going to walk out the door. Don't believe that she won't do it if she thinks she has the right too!! You hired her knowing this about her (for example).
              As you say you will come into the xmas season and spring is coming also.
              She might be OK but you need to hire at least one dedicated groomer who needs a job, period...
              The Vet Tech may sound like a good idea but remember she doesn't want to be a groomer. She is going to school and believe me school will come first for her. We hate hiring students but at 9 and hour it is all we can get sometimes. Find out why she wants to work in a grooming job? Does she just want to be around animals? Was she a groomer before? If so why is she going to Vet Tech school?
              Sounds to me like those two would probably make one good employee you can count on most of the time if you schedule them like they are one employee sometimes,

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              • #8
                Erin I am worried about these SAME issues when it comes to hiring. I have 3 kids and never have missed a day of work because of them BUT if one of my kids is sick, I have multiple back up plans. We used the same sitter every year during the summer, she didnt work during the school year so if I had a sick child, she would go get him/her from school or come watch him for me. I also had a mother in law that didnt work. Just make sure she has a solid plan for the summer, with a backup plan in case that person should call in sick also.

                I have these same fears when hiring another groomer. I am a goofy nerd who loves to be in a good mood, I dont want someone coming in here that ends up changing the vibe of this salon. Like I say, I have a hubby & 3 kids......this shop is my "escape" LOL. This isnt a job! lol.

                Are you hiring for a groomer or bather? I never did a "test" dog for any of my jobs, but I know a lot of people require that for the hiring process. I think I would do that also., see how she grooms and her personality....Once back in the day my old boss hired a new girl. She came in did a horrible job on a Golden Retriever (how hard is that!) and then called in sick that following Saturday - yikes. She had to go! Thats what I DONT want!

                Ideally, I want someone from this board! LOL

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by SpikeyTheYorkie View Post
                  Red Flag: Wears a half shirt with her belly fat hanging over (at least, that's what my boss said she was relieved NOT to see when I came to interview), LOL.

                  Tammy in Utah
                  Okay, so if they have six-pack abs it's OKAY to show up for the interview in a half-shirt???

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                  • #10
                    Just a couple thoughts. I (until last year) owned a retail business with my husband for about 12 years. We hired lots of people over the years. Sometimes the best prospects turned out to be the flakiest employees. And the flakiest looking prospects turned out the best.

                    About the "Mom" candidate...That was me about 2 1/2 years ago. My boss wasn't actively looking but I had heard she needed help so I stopped by to ask if she needed a bather (I had no experience but just liked the idea of a part time job around dogs). I have 2 kids and told her I was available to work during the week 8-2ish. She hired me on the spot. She has since taught me to groom and my youngest child got her drivers license which allowed me to work full time. So it has worked out well. I know she considers me a valuable employee. Also in the 2 1/2 years I have worked there I have only had one "emergency" with my kids that has caused me to miss a day of work. As a matter of fact I have never even called in sick! Mom's learn to work through anything because they have to so she may be more dependable than you would think.

                    As far as the "vet tech" we had one of those working as a bather for a few months. She did nothing but complain about everything and was completely freaked about germs. I swear, that girl spent about 10 minutes scrubbing her hands and arms before lunch and the end of the day. Would wear rubber gloves for everything. Would not ever consider doing anals. Couldn't figure out how to clip nails without causing a bloodbath. She constantly talked about how she was "a vet tech" and knew so much about dogs. And yet she had been fired from a vet tech job and had been unable to get another one. Last I heard she was bathing old people at a convalescent home.

                    Anyway, my point is, interview them both and look at the big picture. You can never be sure who will be an asset to your business based on applications alone.

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                    • #11
                      Don't worry if they fiddle with their fingers or anything. A lot of employers turn people down because of things like that. They think that they are not sure with themselves. I do it all the time. In interviews and even when I'm watching tv. It's one of my habits.

                      Also appearance isn't everything. But if someone comes in dressed like they don't give a **** that they are even awake, then just tell them to go home and don't even bother.

                      Also time. If they show up late, don't bother giving them a second chance. Most likely if they can't show up on time for the job interview then they probably wont show up on time for work either. (seen that happen way to many times)
                      Becky

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                      • #12
                        I never hired without watching them groom a dog in addition to the question/answer interview. If they're currently in grooming school you might even ask the school if you can observe them there. If they have absolutely no experience grooming are you willing to take on that responsibility? And the fact that during training time not only will they not be grooming any dogs, but you'll probably be grooming half as many. Also consider hiring on a 2-3 month trial period--even for experienced groomers. After which either you or the employee can decide whether remaining with your company will work or not. Believe me, at some point you will need this.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Raggs View Post
                          Also time. If they show up late, don't bother giving them a second chance. Most likely if they can't show up on time for the job interview then they probably wont show up on time for work either. (seen that happen way to many times)
                          Yeah, I agree if they show up late for the interview, who knows if they would show up for work on time!
                          We had a woman that was supposed to come in for an interview. My boss left a dog for her to work on so she could see how she did. It was the end of the day, and I was ready to go home, but had to stick around to take care of the front so my boss could do the interview. Well, fifteen minutes later she still hadn't shown up. By that time it was too late anyway! Well wouldn't you know it about five more minutes and she shows up. Walks right in says shes there for an interview. Oh yeah, she was also on the phone, and stood there for like five minutes before she hung up. No apology, nothing. I told her that she was 20 minutes late, and my boss did not accept interviews that came in late. She actually was shocked! She didn't say a word, turned around and slammed the door on her way out! I couldn't believe it! I had no idea people acted that way!
                          Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

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                          • #14
                            Just please be very careful with regard to the questions you ask about her kids. It is illegal to discrimate against a potential employee based on their marital or parental status, among many other things.

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                            • #15
                              I actually had a young girl walk into my shop about 20 mins ago and asked me the required age to work here.. She has a friend looking for a job.
                              The age thing was a fair question I guess, and noticing a "Help Wanted" sign and asking questions for a friend is cool..

                              But.. the sign say's, in BIG BOLD PRINT!! "Expirenced Dog Groomer"!

                              I told the young girl that's what im looking for and does her friend meet that criteria?.... ummm.. no..

                              I've alwsys been taught to pay attention to detail.. Why would I hire someone who could not follow simple instructions?

                              Yes, I know it was her friend asking, but if even she paid attention to the huge sign, she could have saved herself and me some time!

                              When I went to inquire about a job as a "Expirenced Groomer" for a privatly owned shop, I dressed up (tho not a suit) but still more than a daily groomer would wear. She asked me to do a Cocker as a test and was very pleased when I was done.. She didnt just offer me the job, she was more concerned that I would accept it!

                              To me, the basic job interview skills count regardless of the position your applying for.. Im not a very critial person and am very easy-going and get along with most people, but if someone comes in dressed in rag's and doesnt treat the interview as an interview, then I'll not hire them.

                              If they dont take the applying seriously, how are they going to treat their job?

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