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Having great guides it’s one of the most important things in a tour business: they are the ones the clients actually interact with, and as so, they play a major role in the client’s experience with your company. That’s why I want to help you find the best tour guides to work in your business.

I’m going to share with you my top 9 characteristics that make up a great guide, including what I believe is the NUMBER ONE thing that matters.

1. They’re fun, friendly and empathetic.

Great tour guides are the people you’d want to go have a beer with, regardless of whether or not you were paying them. They’re the sort of people who are fun to be around.

2. They’re engaged.

Engaged employees take the time to learn local secrets, look after their guests, pick up a few words in important languages and take the initiative to solve problems.

3. They’re professional.

You shouldn’t have to debate basic aspects of competency with pros, such as showing up on time, communication and personal presentation. You’ll never hear them saying ‘but that’s not my job!’

4. They’re great at dealing with unusual situations.

How would they handle a complex situation? Give examples to them, and see their reactions.

Here’s an example.

‘You have a group of 20. One of them breaks their arm, and you’re 3 hours away from the city you just left. You have 7 hours to reach the next city, or you can turn back. You’re the only employee around. What would you do?’

Ask these sorts of questions to get a handle on how they think.

5. They love kids.

Some people just can’t handle children or decide to ignore them. Do you want them leading your tours?

6. They care about the subject matter.

Melbourne, Australia is a city I love down to the ground, and it shows in every word I say about it. People get sick of me talking about it. Is this just another job to your guide, or is it a topic that they can passionately discuss?

7. They’re awesome communicators.

Great guides know how to make a subject interesting to someone and not just regurgitate lists of information anyone could find on Google.

8. They aspire to be an actor.

In my experience, aspiring actors make great guides. If you can find someone that loves acting and hamming it up, you can give them their audience and a special day for your guests. This may not work in some niches, but it’s worth thinking about.

9. They’re hungry.

This is my #1 MOST important thing to look for in a job application. Hunger! If someone is hungry to be the best, nothing can stand in their way.

But how do you determine hunger? Easy! In your job ad, just say this: *Extra effort in your application will be rewarded.*

Then you can sit back and see how much your applicants really care. At this point, a great CV doesn’t matter. If they don’t care enough to really put an effort in to get the job, there’s a good chance they won’t work out.

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