This site is part of the Global Exhibitions Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


The ISS Blog provides a series of insightful, industry-relevant posts to help readers keep abreast of the latest trends in the marketplace as well as premium content and educational offerings. Read the thoughts of the ISS content team and other industry experts on issues related to self-storage challenges, news, operation, development, marketing and much more.

Teri L. Lanza,
Vice President

Tony Jones,
Contributing Editor/Store Manager

Amy Campbell,

The Self-Storage Manager Interview: Quirky Questions and Other Trends to Consider

By Amy Campbell Comments
Posted in Blogs, Staffing

By Amy Campbell

So where do you see yourself in five years? If this is one of your go-to interview questions, it may be time to make some changes. Hiring the right people to operate your self-storage facility is imperative to its success—and it begins with the interview process. According to an article on, the average cost of recruiting, hiring and training a new employee is about $4,000. If you make a poor choice, consider that money flushed away.

Back to the question at the beginning of this blog. Let’s face it, this has been a staple in interviews across all industries for decades. Other old-school questions include, “Tell me about yourself,” What did you dislike about your previous job,” and everyone’s favorite “Why do you want to work here?” While these questions might garner some insightful answers, you have to remember the person in front of you likely has canned responses to these often-asked questions.  They also don’t help you really get to know a person or ascertain if they have the right skills for the job. And they’re boring!

So are you ready to switch it up? An article on MSN’s Careers explores interview trends that will not only help you find the right person for your open position, but will also get your new hire excited to work for you.

Let’s start with those stale questions. Of course you’ll need a handful of questions to assess the candidates’ ability to handle the job, but you should also sprinkle in a few “quirky” questions. The MSN article includes these gem: "If it were possible, what theme song would play each time you entered a room?" and "If you were a Disney character, which character would you be and why?" Beginning the interview with an unexpected question will help your candidate’s personality come to the forefront. It can also help the person relax a bit, and shows you have a sense of humor. Bonus: You can follow up with a “why” this song or character and how it relates to their job skills. 

Another trend popping up is the group interview. This can occur on either side of the table with more than one candidate being interviewed or multiple interviewers asking the questions. While either scenario can be an intimidating process for candidates, you will see how well they do under pressure. If you’re planning to conduct batch interviews, be sure to address everyone equally. You might also want to consider doing follow-up, individual interviews with candidates that stood out from the pack.

In today’s digital age, video interviews are another hot trend. One great advantage video interviewing offers is you can consider out-of-state candidates. Another bonus—you can conduct interviews while traveling or include another person in the process. If you’re considering this trend, be sure your Internet connection is up to par. Frozen frames, or a slow or lost connection isn’t the business image you want to project to your potential new hire.

You can find more guidance on hiring staff and other human-resource subject matter on the ISS “Staffing” pages. Get advice on hiring part-time staff, interview techniques, bonuses and incentives, manager training, recruiting, and more.  Members of Self-Storage Talk are also sharing interview questions on this thread.

Have you changed your interview process recently? Have any interesting questions or advice to share? Comment below or on Self-Storage Talk, the industry’s largest forum.


comments powered by Disqus