This is a great question for those applying for a position that involves regular contact with customers.
But instead of having your applicant simply answer it, why not see how they would actually handle it.
There’s nothing like a live exercise to find out how skilled someone is, right?
So, let’s set the scene:
“Sarah, you’re going to be the store manager in this live exercise. I’ll be Mary, a very upset customer who has just come over to you demanding her money back. She’s loud and you can see she’s having an effect on the other customers in the store.”
And then do your best to give a realistic display of what this irate customer might say and see how Sarah responds.
I understand each store may have their own refund policy, and if you want to briefly describe yours to Sarah to make this exercise more realistic, that’s not a bad idea.
Observing how Sarah would apply a store policy would be helpful, but the main thing you want to see in action are Sarah’s “people skills.” How does Sarah defuse this irate customer so that the other customers aren’t negatively affected AND so that Sarah feels she’s being genuinely attended to.
You could do several versions of this. I would suggest starting off by making it fairly easy for Sarah and then make tougher each time. Maybe you start crying at the end and see how Sarah deals with that.
Just suggestions, folks. The purpose here is to observe your applicant in action and handling what is likely one of the more difficult situations he or she will encounter.
You might learn more about Sarah in 10-15 minutes of this kind of live exercise than you might in hours long interviews without the live exercise.
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