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View Full Version : What questions do you ask at a job interview?


Az Gardener
03-12-2007, 02:00 AM
For those of you who are more selective in your hiring process what questions do you ask? Better put, what questions do you find are the most helpful in your decision making process?

mojob
03-12-2007, 09:40 AM
Open-ended questions are always good. Questions that require more than just a yes or no answer. Gives them a chance to trip up or look really good and hard to fake. "What would most of your past employers say about you that they liked?" "About what they didn't like?" What they like to do in their spare time. How do you get to know anyone? Just talk to them, right?

ECS
03-12-2007, 09:43 AM
You will know withing the first 5 minutes if you will hire them or not.

palawnman
03-12-2007, 10:40 AM
Open-ended questions are always good. Questions that require more than just a yes or no answer. Gives them a chance to trip up or look really good and hard to fake. "What would most of your past employers say about you that they liked?" "About what they didn't like?" What they like to do in their spare time. How do you get to know anyone? Just talk to them, right?

I agree, yes or no questions are just a waste of time. I dont necessarily just look for certain answers either, I try to judge the confidence in which they answer. Do they have to think too long to answer some questions? If they think too long, then it makes me think they are making it up in their head and try to tell me what I want to hear.

Ron

txgrassguy
03-12-2007, 01:12 PM
Some of the questions I ask are down right to the point.
Aside from the standard referral questions, I ask what they liked and did not like about their previous employer. Then I make them edify those comments further in order to check for continuity in their responses.
Employer referrals are mandatory and I WILL check.
I ask about their physical conditioning and ability to work in 100*+heat, I specifically ask about their prior medical record and if I get any waffling here than it is an immediate halt to the interview and they are shown the door.
Since approximately one-half of my crew(s) are mexican I ask about their feelings towards mexicans and their spanish speaking abilities.
I demand a true copy of their drivers record at the time of the interview, if they don't have one than the interview goes no further.
Prior to the interview I also get a criminal background on each applicant - same rules here - any problems than forget it.
Provided they get past the initial interview than they immediately submit to a multi-spectrum urinalysis, if they pass that than the 90 probationary period starts.
My starting pay for qualified people is about what concrete truck drivers start at in my area so when I do post ads for applicants I usually receive 30-50 calls a day.
I also refuse to enter into an in-depth discussion on the telephone prior to receiving a valid address to mail the application too. No address, no application.
Once the paperwork has been submitted to the office, out of those 30-50 about 80% immediately fail and their application is retained for one calendar year.
Of the 20% that pass and actually show up for the interview, about 1.5-3% pass that. So far in 2007, NO ONE has passed the urinalysis.
I think the labor pool in my area is like the gene pool, real shallow and these people were definitely bumping their heads on the bottom.

T.E.
03-12-2007, 01:28 PM
Some of the questions I ask are down right to the point.
Aside from the standard referral questions, I ask what they liked and did not like about their previous employer. Then I make them edify those comments further in order to check for continuity in their responses.
Employer referrals are mandatory and I WILL check.
I ask about their physical conditioning and ability to work in 100*+heat, I specifically ask about their prior medical record and if I get any waffling here than it is an immediate halt to the interview and they are shown the door.
Since approximately one-half of my crew(s) are mexican I ask about their feelings towards mexicans and their spanish speaking abilities.
I demand a true copy of their drivers record at the time of the interview, if they don't have one than the interview goes no further.
Prior to the interview I also get a criminal background on each applicant - same rules here - any problems than forget it.
Provided they get past the initial interview than they immediately submit to a multi-spectrum urinalysis, if they pass that than the 90 probationary period starts.
My starting pay for qualified people is about what concrete truck drivers start at in my area so when I do post ads for applicants I usually receive 30-50 calls a day.
I also refuse to enter into an in-depth discussion on the telephone prior to receiving a valid address to mail the application too. No address, no application.
Once the paperwork has been submitted to the office, out of those 30-50 about 80% immediately fail and their application is retained for one calendar year.
Of the 20% that pass and actually show up for the interview, about 1.5-3% pass that. So far in 2007, NO ONE has passed the urinalysis.
I think the labor pool in my area is like the gene pool, real shallow and these people were definitely bumping their heads on the bottom.

I feel your pain. On the other hand you might have to look outside your state if you are going to have to have some more help this year. :D
Later, Tony

salandscape
03-12-2007, 04:01 PM
I pay better than most guys in my area and this winter I got 10 responses for a foreman position, 6 won't return the call when I call them,( I get the resumes oline, I got most while on the computer and called immediatelty!) Trying to figure out you bother sending a resume to a job you won't even return a call on! 4 I set up for interviews 2 canceled minutes before they should be here. 2 I interview, one I want but has such a bad driving record I can't hire him. The other I offer the job because he can do it, hopefully, and he's the end of my pool, and he doesn't respond to the offer even though he was very interested after the intial interview!

I have had very high turnover. I keep thinking it must be me, but when I look at my track record no one has ever quit me. Most don't show up on their first day!

Anyway way off topic, my questions involve things like will you show up? Can you give me your professional references, most will give a personal in there, don't care if your buddies think your great!

I have nothing constructive to add to this Sorry!

Littleriver1
03-12-2007, 05:09 PM
One of the questions I was asked once was. What is a good reason for not reporting to work when you are scheduled. There is only one correct answer and any wrong answer would be a reason not to hire. The main thing to remember is to have more than one interview. One of the things I used to do was tell the ones I wanted to hire the most that I had lost their application and ask them to fill out another one. If they did not match then I would not hire them. With the app. completed and in your hand and the person siting next to you, look at every answer and ask a question in such a way that they have to repeat what they wrote on the app without seeing it. Even if it only has to do with spelling or math. Such as how may months was it between your last 2 jobs. People that lie skip work, steal and try to get good people fired so you will need them more than they need you. The wrong employee gets hired thousands of times a day in this country. With the unemployment rate at 4.5% it's going to be tuff this year. Bush did it to us again. Who ever thought prosperty could be so painfull?

PatriotLandscape
03-12-2007, 10:28 PM
Question 1: Do you have a valid drivers license

Question 2: Do you need to blow into a breathalyser to start your vehicle

Believe it or not I used to only ask question one. I had what I thought was a good guy wait until the end of his first week when I asked him to take a truck somewhere and THEN he told me. He was caught with a DUI and under Melanie's law could only drive his vehicle to work and home and needed to blow in to his car to get it to start!!! :D he didn't work another day :D

Az Gardener
03-13-2007, 12:57 AM
Some of mine that I get the most insight from are.

What is your biggest fault? What will I learn about you after you have been working for me for a month that I don't know now? Just spill it, you know I will find out anyway.

What other business interests do you have? Day trading, selling drugs, flipping houses, pimping ?

What other jobs have you applied for? Is there a dream job out there that you have applied for?

Why do you want to work here?

I had 6 interviews set up for today 2 were no shows and one canceled. 3 OK candidates. Two more set for tomorrow, 5 pending and 6 more resumes I hope I don't have to call for interviews.

BTW gay employee from prior thread lasted a week. He was very slow but did follow directions and used common sense. He probably would have developed into a good employee if given enough time. He quit for computer job that paid better.

I'm getting much better response from Jobbing.com add than Craig's list and other free methods.

Howard Roark
03-13-2007, 11:23 PM
I've done probably over 400 interviews in my life. The first question I ALWAYS ask is:

Take you time, and tell me everything about yourself.

Once they answered this one question I already knew if I would hire them or not.

Az Gardener
03-15-2007, 11:26 AM
A new question going on the list is "Tell me about the jobs that you were hired for and worked less than a month and are not on your application/ resume"

I went through 5 hours of orientation/training with a coupe of guys yesterday I was going over lifting and loading techniques when one of the guys said at Home Depo I had to watch a video on lifting. Problem was Home Depo was not on his application. I must be paying more. He finished out the day and turned in his unis. this morning, said he was going back to Home Depo.

RedWingsDet
03-25-2007, 03:13 AM
Most of the questions above, plus:

can you handle the heat for long periods of time?
What about if your tired, hot and it is schorering outside and mrs jones comes outside yelling at you, waht will you do?
do you have kids? if so, what if they are sick?
Can you lift alot of weight for long periods of time (sod, bricks, etc.)
have you driven a truck and trailer?
do you have a cdl?
how long do you plan on being employed?

many others, but those are the key ones. especially the mrs. jones one.

Team-Green L&L
03-25-2007, 10:29 AM
My answer to this question would be to ask the questions that you want to know about the guy who will be filling the position you are hiring for. What I mean is this...if I'm hiring a lawn care team member I would want to know what his driving record looked like, how many plants he can identify, if he can stand the heat, pick up 50 lbs for an (8) hour day, etc., but if the position was for a sales team member, the questions would be quite different.

Az Gardener
03-28-2007, 12:49 AM
My answer to this question would be to ask the questions that you want to know about the guy who will be filling the position you are hiring for. What I mean is this...if I'm hiring a lawn care team member I would want to know what his driving record looked like, how many plants he can identify, if he can stand the heat, pick up 50 lbs for an (8) hour day, etc., but if the position was for a sales team member, the questions would be quite different.

I believe this is a mistake. The reason being is most of what we do is easily taught. You can hire the best fastest (whatever position) and if they disrupt the crew you end up with a net loss.

However if you hire a good person that fits into your company culture they will learn your way of doing things and be an asset making the the whole more valuable than the sum of all its separate parts.

Eakern & Dog
03-28-2007, 03:24 AM
Among several questions, I always asked these regardless of what industry I was managing:

1. If you were going to drill through a wall with a 12" to 18" drill bit, what would be the 1st thing you would do before drilling ?

ANSWER- look to see what was on the other side of the wall

2. Should promotion and raises be based on seniority or merit ?

ANSWER- Merit

3.If you found out that your best friend of 18 years or your brother was using his company gas card for his personal vehicle would you tell his employer ?

ANSWER- No, I would not tell-------Because,either the applicant is lying to you in the interview because he wants to give you the answer he thinks you want to hear OR he has no sense of loyalty.