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5 Interview Questions to Uncover Strong Work Ethic

Employers know that very experienced, highly skilled employees aren’t very productive if they have a poor work ethic. That’s why work ethic is one of the top “soft skills” that hiring managers look for in applicants.

The problem with trying to assess work ethic is that it is difficult to do by looking at a resume or a cover letter. Ultimately, the best way to gauge a person’s work ethic without watching them work is to ask good questions in the interview. The five questions listed below are great ways to assess the work ethic in your applicants.

1) What Can You Tell Me About Our Company?

Every good applicant should research the company they are interviewing with, and because of this expectation, asking about their research can provide you with a sense of how much work they put in.

If a candidate can talk in detail about your products, services, company history, and position in the marketplace, you know they put the work in ahead of the interview. If your applicant gives short, vague answers, it indicates the opposite.

2) Can You Tell Me About a Time When You Overcame a Major Obstacle?

Many people excel when it comes to working hard on daily tasks but find it difficult when a major challenge gets in their way. What sets apart those with the best work ethic is the way they tend to work harder when things aren’t going their way. Asking candidates for specific examples of how they overcame adversity can open a sizeable window into their work habits.

3) Can You Tell Me About the Last Time You Had a Mountain of Work In Front of You, How Handled It and What the Result Was?

Strong work ethic doesn’t just mean putting your nose to the grindstone and working as hard as you physically can. Having a strong work ethic also means being about to ‘work smart.’

There is a significant difference between having a hardworking mindset and knowing how to complete a mountain of job duties. In asking this question, you can find out what the applicant did to handle a big workload in a previous work setting, and what they might be able to do under similar circumstances for your company.

4) How successfully Were You in Your First Job?

Taking that first job involves walking in without any experience, and that means your degree of success is based on how hard you work. This question can give you a sense of a candidate’s innate desire to work by examining how they did without much experience to lean on and only a basic set of skills.

5) Talk About a Time When You Went Above and Beyond

When a candidate doesn’t have a strong work ethic, they may struggle to find an example of when they truly went above and beyond the call of duty. Also, be wary of candidates who try to impress you with a story that sounds like a typical day at the office.

We Can Help You Find Candidates with the Qualities Your Company Wants

At Thompson Technologies, we work hand-in-glove with our clients to find them the best candidates possible for their open positions. If your company is currently looking for a custom talent acquisition solution, please contact us today.

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