It’s the scenario every hiring manager dreads: a candidate gives a great interview, but ends up being unmotivated and giving a lackluster performance once hired. There are a variety of skills, both technical and soft, that hiring managers need to look for during the interview process, but inevitably work ethic (or lack thereof) is likely to have the biggest impact on a candidate’s success. Prevent bad hires by using these steps to evaluable a candidate’s work ethic during an interview:
Before the interview begins and as it progresses, be mindful of how much effort the candidate appears to have put into preparing for the interview. Does he have extra copies of his resume printed out or a pen and paper to take notes? This may seem like a small thing, but showing up without these basic interview necessities may indicate that the candidate didn’t put the work into getting ready for it.
Use Behavioral Questions
Many candidates coast through interviews by supplying rehearsed answers that don’t tend to give much insight into how they will actually perform if they are hired. Switch things up and focus on behavioral questions in which you ask for real examples of past behaviors that are applicable to what you’re looking for in a candidate, such as instances of solving problems or juggling multiple deadlines. This can give you better predictors of a candidate’s work ethic than simply asking if they are hardworking and why.
Forecast to the Future
Give the candidate a chance to shine and prove himself to have a strong work ethic by providing him with a scenario likely to come up during the job if hired, and asking him to elaborate on how he would handle it. This will not only show the candidate’s innate work ethic, but can additionally show enthusiasm for the position if he demonstrates knowledge of the company’s mission and how he would contribute.
Look at the Follow-Up
A candidate with a strong work ethic will likely approach the hiring process in a manner as serious as he or she would if hired for the job itself. Just like being prepared for the interview can demonstrate being a hard worker, how the candidate follows up after may be another key indicator. Asking questions after the interviewer is done, politely requesting a timeframe for hearing back, and sending a thank you note are all possible signs of a good work ethic.
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