Three creative interview questions that separate so-so candidates from true rock stars:
1. What’s your favorite thing to order here?
It doesn’t matter whether they prefer the snickerdoodles or the peppermint cupcakes. “Being familiar with our bakery is a big plus,” says Tiffany Kurtz, owner of Flirty Cupcakes Dessert Garage in Chicago.
2. What do you enjoy most about helping customers?
“I’m looking for emotional intelligence because social skills are so important, especially when the bakery is busy and crowded and customers might want a little extra TLC,” says Wendy Achatz, co-owner of Achatz Handmade Pie Co. in Chesterfield, Michigan.
3. Whom would you hire to work here?
Even new hires can be great resources for referrals—especially if you motivate them with a small bonus, like a gift card. “[Workers] tend to take [referrals] pretty seriously because they don’t want to be responsible for bringing in someone who didn’t work out,” says Beth Cotter Fahey, co-owner of Creative Cakes in Tinley Park, Illinois. “And word-of-mouth referrals are always 100 times better than posting something online and weeding through resumes.”