Tom Sweeney

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Archive for March 12th, 2009

Starbucks VS Moxies: Unique Applicant Interviews?

Posted by sweens on March 12, 2009

As a technical recruiter I have been able to conduct a large amount of interviews with candidates during my time in the industry.  While interviewing candidates for technical roles can require a different style of interview then say interviewing at a grocery store, I think the basic principals are the same.


Get the candidate to talk about their past work experience.  Talk about some challenges they have faced in previous positions.  What type of opportunity they are looking for in a new challenge?  You are trying to draw out how their experience will help you fill your current requirement as well as how their personality will fit with the team, allow them to handle corporate challenges and ultimately some personal traits about the person.


This fundamental challenge should be drawn out in every interview for any kind of position.  That being said, I personally would like to take part in two interviews to see how they are conducted.  And these interviews would be for two unique organizations. They would be: Moxies Bar and Grill; and Starbucks. 




I would pick those two corporations for different reasons.  First of all, Moxies is well known for hiring some of the most gorgeous women in the city (Moxies has locations in numerous cities).  Walk into any Moxies on a Friday afternoon and you will see numerous gorgeous girls in tall boots and short skirts serving a sea of men looking to get a jump start on the weekend.  What are the interview questions that take place when someone interviews for a job there?  What do they try to draw out of each interview?  These are questions I would love to get the answers to.


Secondly, I would pick Starbucks.  And I would pick Starbucks for the simple reason that I have never been to a Starbucks (and I go a lot) and met an employee who seemed to be in a bad mood or who was not ‘chipper’.  Everyone who works at Starbucks is always friendly and ready to serve.  I know that personally if it was 8:30am and I had to make 10 double pump non-fat vanilla lattes, that I would be a little beside myself.


I have heard that Starbucks does a really good job of training and motivating their employees.  It fosters a positive and healthy work environment that people want to be in.  I would like to learn how to draw that out in an interview.  Do they write a personality test and have to score a certain percentage?  Maybe it is like applying to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and you have to take a psych test and score high enough.


These are just personal thoughts of mine running through my head today, but drawing out ‘happy’ and ‘attractive’ people is a tool I am sure every technical recruiter would be happy to learn.

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