Interviewing Potential Employees...?

Discussion in 'Employment' started by SLC LLC, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. SLC  LLC

    SLC LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 667

    What things do you ask? I am trying to focus on the medium to smaller scale operations, not specialized services in fertilizing and hardscape, etc. - just basic lawn mowing.
    Let's just say that you are looking to hire a couple of guys to be on a crew. Their duties will include trimming, edging, and using a blower. They may mow from time ti time or assist in putting down mulch, trimming shrubs, but mainly just assisting on a crew. Or say you are looking to hire an individual to run a crew. Main duties to keep on track, drive the truck and pull the trailer, and perform most of the mowing duties.

    What questions do you present during that interview to help you sort through all of the applicants?
  2. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    are you ********, that is a great question.haha

    seriously, though are you ********?

    ok, how about,

    do you have any real world professional experience?
    if so, what did you do and what equipment did you operate routinely?
    if so, what was your pay level?
    do you have any activities that will interfere with you coming to workona weekend(orin our case any day as we work 7 days a week, rotating schedule for employees)?
    do you have any health conditions that would impede long hours of work and strenuous labor? allergies?( some of our guys are allergic to stings, hence we have shots for them in case onhand)
    and so forth................................
  3. snowman55

    snowman55 LawnSite Member
    from middle
    Messages: 60

    why is a man hole round? makes them think. you would be surprised at the answers. ask questions that give you insite to their thought process.
  4. sehitchman

    sehitchman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 948

    This is not a Joke, you can get yourself into trouble by asking the wrong questions. Write down everything you wanted to ask. Ask the same question of every prospect. Especially during the initial interview. Do use an application for everyone, and never let them take it home to fill out. That way you can tell if they read and write. Never make notes on an application, keep a seperate note pad and do not file your notes with the application. You are required by law to keep all applications on file, not sure of the time, so check. If they need to drive, make a copy of their license and let them know you will pull a dvr on them. HR classes are readily available many places, take advantage of any opportunity to improve your interview skills. Good luck, I burnt out on employees about 10 years ago.
  5. Sweet Tater

    Sweet Tater LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,123

    I just did the interviews today for the first time, hated every second of it. I asked questions that pertained to the duties I am looking for, and even had the ones that said they could handle a Z hop on mine and show me how well. I looked at things such as penmanship, spelling, filling out the app completely, hygiene and appearance and manners.
  6. SLC  LLC

    SLC LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 667

    Thanks for the responses. And no, not ******** at all grassman. All of the information that you listed to me is answered on their applications. This is where I ran int othe problem. By their applications that they fill out, I already know what they can do, or at least tell me that they can do already. So when I get to interview someone, I really want to know how they present themselves. I think that a great deal can be told just by how someone presents themself and how they handle themself. So I started to think, I should just have everyone show up for minutes and then leave.

    As someone mentioned though, I would like to be consistent across the board when I talk to everyone. So having a list of 4 or 5 questions that everyone gets asked I think would be important. Economy is tough right now, and it's amazing to me that I put a simple ad in the newspaper looking for people to string trim and help on a crew, and BAM! - there's 80 applications on my desk. Going by the apps, probably 50 of them seem interesting to me.
  7. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    i was not calling you ********, i was acting like i was asking the applicant the question, trying to make a bad funny!!! get it?!!!!

    i thought you were trying to figure out things to ask, that is why i posted some of our questions for you. i misunderstood. we actually dont use applications as we dont get very many applicants. maybe we should, but we dont put in adds anymore as all we got were the worst scrubs on earth that were never considered due to lack of intelligence from the first phone call. pretty amazing the amount of DUMB you can get our of a phone conversation.!!!!!!!!
  8. Sweet Tater

    Sweet Tater LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,123

    ok, heres something, you have 2 guys, one has experience running the equipment one doesnt but can learn. The one that has experience there is just someting, you cant put your finger on it, just dont seem...... um, right. however the one that needs trained everything clicks just right, personality, appearence, manners and eagerness. the first is not a vet, the second is an Iraq vet. I am a vet. These are the two I am considering. give me your opinions
  9. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    usually go with the gut and get the second guy in your scenario. have had good expereinces going that route
  10. valeofparadiseLLC

    valeofparadiseLLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    The problem we have around here is that guys come to us with experience BUT thy have worked for everyone in town. These guys are always looking for a better deal, no loyalty to who they work for. I would rather take a a guy or gal who wants to learn and has no knowledge then someone who knows what to do but has zero loyalty or is unwilling to help others become better. Be fair when interviewing and ask the same questions then ask yourself would you be willing to trust this person with your equipement. But remember no one cares about your business more then you. I am Retired from the US Army and VETS always get a plus with me.

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