Annie Tannhauser gets paid to eat chocolate. Sound too good to be true? Not if you are the vice president of Global Food Safety and Quality at Godiva. In her role, Tannhauser leads a team of quality leaders and jointly they develop and implement the global strategy for food safety and quality assurance for Godiva worldwide. And a part of her job entails experiencing and indulging in all the chocolate Godiva makes. "When I tell people I work for Godiva, their first response is usually 'Wow' followed by, 'I love your products.' Many are also envious of me working at Godiva and also being exposed to all the delicious chocolate."
Tannhauser has been at Godiva since 2008. She landed her position there through industry contacts. She loves the global nature of her job and notes, "It's an amazing experience to walk into a Godiva boutique located in another part of the world and see the pride in the sales associates' faces." In her role, she builds systems and processes so quality is designed up front and issues are prevented. "We build the framework that upholds our brand image of continuing to produce the most delicious, highest quality, and innovative types of chocolate," Tannhauser says.
-- See the average salary of a retail store manager for Godiva Chocolatier, Inc.
A position where eating chocolate is part of the job description sounds like heaven to me. To learn more about working for Godiva, I turned to Kris Breuer, SVP of Global Human Resources for Godiva.
What type of people does Godiva look for and where do you find them?
Godiva looks for people who are innovative, intellectually curious, collaborative, and inspirational. Integrity is also something Godiva looks for. The company does some recruiting through job boards but also leverages a strong employee referral program and sponsorships with culinary programs to source top talent.
What types of interview questions do you ask?
Breuer asks situational interview questions to gain an understanding of what challenges the candidate has faced in the past and how they handled them. Her favorite interview questions include:
- Tell me about a time when you had a strong position on a business decision and your staff didn't agree with you. How did you overcome objections?
- Give an example of when you took an initiative that wasn't as successful as you predicted. How did you course correct and what was the outcome?
- Tell me about the attributes of your best hire and what they are doing today.
- Tell me about an under-performer you managed out of the organization and how you did it.
- Tell me about a hiring mistake you made in your career and how you now hire differently as a result of the mistake.
What advice do you have for people interested in applying for positions at Godiva?
Many people don't do sufficient company research before interviewing with the company. Do your research and look at the company from the consumer perspective. Have you walked our stores? Do you know our distribution channels? Get to know who we are and what we do.
Does Godiva offer employees any special perks?
Yes! Chocolate! Godiva offers employees a 50% off discount on in-store and online chocolate purchases. In addition, employees get to know about and sample new products before they go to market.
One of the reasons Godiva is a great fit for Tannhauser is that she really enjoys her work. She recommends that others looking for similar roles be open and flexible to the many cultures around the world. "More often, there is more than one way to get the answer; working together is always better than working alone," says Tannhauser. She also stresses, "Always find ways to stretch yourself and learn new things whether it's related to your job or not. Make yourself valuable and indispensable to the organization."
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