Hiring Self-Storage Managers: Changing the Interview Process to Discover Who Can Really Do the Job

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By Brad Remillard

When it comes to hiring a self-storage manager, a candidate's skills and experiences are irrelevant. It's how well he applies them on the job that counts.

To be clear, "irrelevant" does not mean "unimportant." Having the right skills and experiences is important, but they're simply the tools one brings to the task. It’s a person's ability to effectively use these tools that matters. Just because you have a hammer and saw in your garage doesn’t make you a fine-finish carpenter.

Interviewers tend to ask applicants a lot of questions about their past. For example, “What have you done in this area?” or “Have you ever done [fill in the blank]?” Those trained in behavioral interviewing will take those same questions and modify them by asking for an example: “Give me an example where you’ve done X” or “Tell me about a time when you had X as an issue."

All of this may be good information, but the fact is you really don’t care about any of it. When a new hire shows up on Monday morning, you no longer think about about all the things he’s done in the past. You only care about one thing: Whether he can do the job you’ve hired him to do. Applicants may have the best skills and all the right experiences, but if they can’t successfully apply them to the task at hand, it's all for nothing.

A New Methodology

Although behavioral interviewing was once a quantum leap forward in the hiring process, the method has run its course. Great interviewing is about more than getting at the past. The tag line for behavioral interviewing, “past performance is an indicator of future performance,” isn’t always true.

Have you ever hired a person who interviewed well, who had all the right answers and items in his resume, but once hired fell flat on his face? This has happened to just about every employer at some point. Why? It’s usually because the employee's skills and experiences are not primary indicators of his ability to do the job. They're secondary indicators at best, and more often than not, they're misleading.

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