Hiring a new employee is a very big deal. You want someone with the right skills and experience, who gets along with the rest of the team — but that’s not all. It would help if you also made sure the candidate has a solid work ethic.

The last thing you want is to hire a new employee, and quickly realize they’re lazy. Here are a few questions to ask in the interview that will help you determine if they’re a hard worker.

Can you describe a time when you went the extra mile at work?

Candidates with a strong work ethic make a habit of exceeding their manager’s expectations. Therefore, anyone worth your time will only have trouble deciding which instance to highlight. Their chosen example should impress you and feel like something that really required extra effort to accomplish.

How do you define work ethic? What does it mean to you?

The term work ethic has many different definitions, so it’s important to make sure you and the candidate are on the same page. You want someone who holds themselves to the same values and standards of your organization. If you don’t agree with their definition or don’t feel like they even understand what work ethic is, they’re probably not a good fit.

When things are slow at work, how do you pass the time?

Most businesses have busy periods and subsequent slower times when there isn’t as much work to do. However, most motivated employees don’t spend their extra time gossiping or shopping online. These people find productive ways to occupy themselves. If the candidate doesn’t have a clear answer, this is likely a sign that they sit back and relax when things are slow.

Describe a time when you had overcome a major obstacle to complete a project?

Some projects are easier to complete than others. However, you need to know the candidate will stick it out, no matter what challenges are thrown their way. The best candidates will have no trouble walking you through a project that presented serious hurdles because they’ll be proud to highlight the hard work they completed to get it done. Be wary of anyone who describes issues you don’t consider particularly challenging.

Tell me about a time when you had multiple important projects on your plate.

During busy periods, employees might need to juggle multiple projects simultaneously. Asking the candidate to describe a time when they did this successfully will help you make sure they have the necessary work ethic to pull it off. A lazy candidate probably won’t have a great answer, because they don’t have the stamina needed to do it. These people would rather drop the ball than roll up their sleeves and do a little extra work.

Having a little trouble finding a new hire that checks all your boxes? PrideStaff Northern Kentucky wants to help. Contact us today to fill your open position right in no time at all!

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