Franchise owners have to be experts in hiring. They need to think not only about which candidate is best for their individual location and work environment, but also about who can represent the larger franchise brand.

One way to do this is by asking unique, non–job-related questions that explore who the candidate is as a person. You can learn a lot about an interviewee’s fit for a role, as well as their overall work style and personality, by asking these types of exploratory questions.

Below, four franchise leaders share the best questions to ask of interviewees to determine their passion for the job or industry, their work ethic and their willingness to learn.

 A headshot of Neil Gill, CEO of Dogtopia. He is sitting to the right of a large black-and-white dog wearing an orange bandanna and red collar.
Neil Gill, CEO and president of Dogtopia, which runs over 160 dog daycare locations across North America. — Dogtopia Enterprises

Neil Gill, CEO & president, Dogtopia

If your role was so compelling that you chose to only take one day off a month, what would you do with this day?

When you ask this question, you get a sense of the interviewee’s views on their purpose and how self-motivated they are, said Neil Gill, CEO of Dogtopia.

According to Gill, you can also learn if an individual takes responsibility for their own well-being or is productive in their daily lives based on their answers. This can give you a better understanding of how they’ll be as an employee.

“I want driven people on our team that are organized and take personal responsibility for their work-life balance,” he said of his own employees. “In franchising, the entire Support Team should have a leadership mindset and be setting the example of productivity, planning and balance.”

Follow Dogtopia on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

[Read more: Why Taking Time Off Is Important — Even If You Love Your Job]

 Two woman clink wine glasses as they stand beside easels holding paintings of pink and blue flowers and dark branches. In the background, other women standing beside similar paintings also clink glasses. On the wall behind them are about a dozen other paintings.
Since 2007, Painting with a Twist has hosted private painting parties where attendees create art with friends while enjoying wine and snacks. — Painting with a Twist

Nancy Bigley, CEO, Painting with a Twist

Tell me what your superpower is and why?

This question is a fun way to ask what an individual’s passion or their biggest strength is, said Nancy Bigley, CEO of Painting with a Twist.

“I want a team who is self-reflective and self-aware,” explained Bigley. “I’m looking for them to share the one thing that, when nurtured and focused on, makes them amazing. If the superpower matches the role I’m looking for, it’s usually a great match. If they can laugh and make the answer fun, it’s a bonus.”

Bigley said this question can also help weed out potential employees who may not be as quick on their feet. For instance, she said, it’s a bad sign “if they are a deer in the headlights... and can’t get to an answer.”

Follow Painting with a Twist on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.

[Read more: Hiring for a Successful Culture]

 A shot of Jeff Stokes, president of STRIDE, standing next to the STRIDE logo (three parallel horizontal lines angled as if they're moving forward; the top line is purple, the middle red, and the bottom orange).
Jeff Stokes, president of Irvine, California-based STRIDE, a gym franchise focused on indoor running and helping its clients find their "finish lines." — STRIDE

Jeff Stokes, president, STRIDE

Describe the most significant project or accomplishment you have achieved during your career.

Asking this question holds two purposes, said Jeff Stokes, president of STRIDE.

“First, it allows me to see the passion the candidate displays,” he said. “Is the candidate proud of what they have done and eager to share their accomplishments with me?”

Second, the question gives the candidate an opportunity to be descriptive and specific.

“This allows me to learn a bit more about their previous experience than what is available on their resume,” Stokes told CO—.

Follow STRIDE on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

 A woman wearing a towel and holding a remote control sits on a wooden bench in a Perspire sauna. The Perspire logo is on the wooden wall facing the camera.
Perspire Sauna Studios utilize infrared light to generate heat. Customers can enjoy Netflix or Pandora Radio while they relax. — Perspire Sauna Studio

Lee Braun, CEO, president & co-founder, Perspire Sauna Studio

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned about yourself in the last six months?

It’s important to know an individual’s willingness to learn and what’s present for them before hiring, said Lee Braun, CEO of Perspire Sauna Studio.

“Self-awareness and willingness to grow and evolve are crucial, especially for our fast-paced and growing organization in the wellness space,” Braun explained.

Follow Perspire on Facebook and Instagram.

[Read more: Best Job Interview Questions You Should Ask]

Best practices for interviewers

Besides asking unique, non–job-related questions, there are a handful of best practices interviewers in any industry should follow. Here are a few tips for a successful interview:

  • Come prepared by prepping interview questions and making the interview space welcoming to the candidate.
  • Be sure you’re staying engaged with the candidate through active listening and eye contact.
  • Help candidates shine by seeking clarity in their answers and asking follow up questions.
  • At the end of the interview, ask for feedback from interviewees.

Get more tips for finding and onboarding the best candidates for your business in our guide to hiring quickly.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published July 14, 2021