When a Recruiter, Human Resources Interviewer, or even the receptionist starts acting friendly, be careful. A job interview is not designed for you to tell the job interview host more about yourself. They are designed to catch you in a lie, find holes in your skill set, or determine what your work ethic and passions are.

Honestly, I don’t need to do a job interview to determine whether someone is a good restaurant candidate. I will just ask for a PDF of an Employee Handbook they wrote, their notes on a case study where they solved a personnel problem, or the plans for a redesign, rebuild, or restructure.

If there is a truly qualified restaurant manager in the batch then they will email these documents back to me, with a customized title page, and highlighting points they feel will be important to the current job posting. I will even consider the go-getter who stays up all night writing an Employee Handbook, and trying to remember the important points of a project they did. I’m very impressed if they remember more than just the parts they did good on, and include a few problems and how they were solved.

Why I Hold Job Interviews

Personally, I hold a job interview to find out who is lying on their resume. Now, to be fair, I have been caught in the past. It has been a long time since I’ve been tricked by the fake references, or fake ‘last job’ phone number. But I still don’t catch everyone on the first interview.

I want to know how you handle stress. Are you going to paste a frozen smile on your face and mirror all my body movements? Don’t. If your job interview host/hostess is more than 40 then they read Zig Ziggler books, probably before you were out of public school. They invented those ‘tricks’ to control a conversation.

There are a few things that I look for. Who interrupts me. Who loses their train of thought if I interrupt them? If I correct them do they immediately back paddle, or do they stand their ground. Do they know the company they are interviewing for, or did they just do a quick google search? If you are interviewing for a management position, or higher, then at least be able to tell me the current stock prices, and better, tell me why they are moving up, or down. How many locations does the franchise have? What is the company’s mission statement?

I can’t interview someone who doesn’t know anything. I can ask questions but you need to offer feedback.

My Favorite Interview Trap

There are a few things I will do. I will act friendly, like I really like you and you have the job. I want to see if you will fall for the trap of chatting about Game of Thrones, or the latest Fast and the Furious movie.

If you are just out of university I will ask the same ‘hum drum’ question about your favorite subjects etc. You will give me the basic, repetitious, formed answer.

What I am looking for is your passions. Did you spend too much time entertaining yourself, or working? Do you even remember what you did at school, or in your last job?

I want to see how vague your answer is. How much time will you waste telling me about your favorite television show. Don’t fall for the fact that it sounds like I have some secret psych agenda. What I really want to know is whether you know more about a television show than you do about your classes, or whether your passion is in television or work.

Don’t give me a vague answer. Don’t tell me you liked studying project management and that you got good grades. I won’t buy it. Tell me that you had a great project management professor, Mrs. X, and that your last year project scored high because you and (name) made a great team.


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