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Old 03-11-2002, 08:46 PM
LawnLad LawnLad is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 738
Prospective Employee Interview Questions - especially for references

This is the time of year many of us look to bring on help. To date I've received a slew of applications, and of course, only a few worthy of interviews. A while back I came up with a list of good interview questions - or borrowed from a book called "The Five Minute Interview". Happy to share a few here with you - of course, in exchange for your good ones too.

But what I'm really interested in knowing... when you call references, either work or personal - what questions do you ask? How do you elicit information from people that they may be hesitant to tell. Getting much more than, "He's a good person... hard worker, never had a problem." That's easy coming from a friend. Obviously the strength of the recommendation to begin with says something, but still, you want to get maximum information.

For reference follow up I'm stuck verifying the information on the application.

For work references:
1) How long did the person work for you?
2) Salary?
3) Would you hire them again?
4) What were his strong suits?
5) Where did he need to improve?
6) Can you tell me anything else about the person?

For personal references:
1) How do you know the person? How long?
2) Can you tell me a little bit about them? - see if you get any follow up info you can ask secondary questions.

Okay... since this forum is all about give and take, for your help with the above quesitons, maybe the questions below will help you out a little too. Quid pro quo.

For a regular interview, here a few questions that are good conversation starters. They usually give you good info you can ask follow up questions. I like to try and get enough info that I can go three, four or five questions deep on follow up. Makes the intereview a good conversation while getting information that speaks to the persons character. Not necessarily in this order - as you may have to bounce around depending on the conversation. This is a partial list I use, beyond the questions abou the immediate technical position for which they are applying.

1) What achievement at your last job are you most proud of? Why?
2) What achievement are you least proud of? Why?
3) What would you differently next time?
4) What adjectives would you use to descirbe yourself?
5) What kind of work environment are you most productive in?
6) Similarly, what envirnoment are you least productive in?
7) Of your past supervisors, who did you like best? Why?
8) Who did you like least? Why?
9) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
10) Did your last job have written performance appraisals? If so, what did it say?
11) What was the basis for the evaulation?
12) What did you think of your review?
13) What aspects of your last job did you like best? Least?
14) What are your greatest technical strengths?
15) How do you feel they will help you on this job?
16) What are you greatest technical weaknesses?
17) What do you plan to do about it?
18) What is the perfect job?
19) Why should we hire you for this job?
20) What questions do you have for me?!
Lawn Lad, Inc.
Cleveland, Ohio
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