Let’s say that you’re working for a company at a retail counter with a great deal of public interaction every day. Suppose that your storefront is in the middle of an affluent neighborhood, right next to a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Sun Trust Bank. Now let’s say that because you have a poor landlord the flowers and front entrance haven’t been maintained for some time and are overgrown with weeds and unattractive. Efforts to get the landlord to clean things up have failed.
What would you do?
This can be a great interview question, providing valuable insight into the character of job candidates. Some people might suggest that you sue the landlord. Others would rather first hire a landscaper to fix things up, and then sue the landlord. Some would simply look the other way. Still others would prefer to stop by on a Saturday with a few plastic bags, a small shovel, a small rake, and a few crates of flowers – and just deal with the problem.
This is a true story. The retail operation in question was a North Palm Beach post office. I don’t know if it still in that condition but it amazes me that the employees of the branch would allow themselves to walk by this mess every single day and do nothing about it – for their own sake, never mind anyone else’s! When I asked them about it they were quick to complain but reluctant to simply fix the problem.
Any time that I’ve rented an apartment, home, or office, I’ve made an effort to spruce it up- because that’s who I am. I couldn’t stand to look at those weeds every day; it would drive me nuts. But of course, most people would rather point a finger and, if necessary, file a lawsuit than just step in and get something done.
What type of employees and managers are you looking for? Do you want people who will wait for somebody else to pick up their responsibilities and go first – or those who will just spend a few hours and get that nagging thing finally done? Try this as an interview question and you’ll find out which kind of employee will come to work for you!