A CAFE in Bournemouth is hiring new staff – but applicants will have to impress a panel of cats at the interview if they hope to get the job.

Pause Cat Café will be holding a ‘speed-dating’ style recruitment event for its felines to select potential employees.

The café hopes that this novel recruitment drive will help them find the most suitable human additions to their team. The café in Old Christchurch Road is inundated with applicants every time it recruits, with over 700 applicants for its last advertised role.

The recruitment event will take place on Thursday, March 22. Job candidates will spend a few minutes at stations throughout the cafe to meet each cat, answer questions and complete tasks to assess their suitability.

The café says each cat has a special bond with one or more members of the team, who are affectionately named ‘mum’ or ‘dad’.

Each cat’s ‘parent’ has designed a task fitting their cat’s requirements - Bear’s ‘mum’, Naomi, says Bear is predominantly concerned with a candidate’s ability to throw her favourite carrot toy and find it when she hides it around the café, so they will be tested on this when meeting Bear at the event.

As well as meeting the feline team, candidates will be allocated time with key members of the human crew including staff, volunteers and regular customers.

The ethos of the cafe centres around kindness; helping others and connecting with people and animals from diverse backgrounds, so they are seeking individuals who share that vision.

Owner Jaya Da Costa said: “Our cats are the most important thing to us, so it’s only right that they get to choose the staff!”

Kate Underwood is consulting on the recruitment. She said: “This is a great initiative. It is time that we look at different ways to recruit staff - long gone are the days of the standard interview.

“In hospitality it is so important to ensure that you have the right attitude; if you have that, anything is possible.”

The café hopes to use the event to recruit several staff for the busy holiday period and sees this event as a quirky way to make sure the cats get the ‘purrfect’ human attendants.

Full and part-time roles include assistant manager, chef, barista, waiting staff, hospitality apprentice, and a range of voluntary roles. Students looking for holiday work would be ideal for the seasonal posts. Pause is a disability confident employer with over a third of their team having some form of disability, so roles can be adapted accordingly.

To register interest for the event, visit www.tiny.cc/bestjob