Reliability in the workplace is important for every business. How can you interview job candidates for reliability and learn about their work ethic before you make an offer? Below are five questions to ask every candidate.

Questions to Determine Reliability        

The examples below provide a basis for interview questions that help determine a candidate’s reliability. You can adapt the questions or create new ones to match your business needs. Beneath each question are types of responses that can reveal a positive, or a problematic, work ethic.

What convinced you to leave your last job or look for a new one?

Positive Responses

  • Provide examples of successes and accomplishments
  • Include expressions of satisfaction from completing projects and readiness for a new challenge
  • Provide details about what the candidate liked about the position

Problematic Responses

  • Include complaints of low pay
  • Express boredom at work
  • Complain about management

Give an example of a time when you went out of your way to resolve an issue at work. What were the results, and who benefited from them?

Positive Responses

  • Provide details
  • Clearly state results
  • Relate tangible benefits

Problematic Responses

  • Avoid giving an example
  • Are generic
  • Include complaints about management

Describe a time when you missed a deadline or failed to follow through. Who was affected? How did you correct the situation? What did you do to help prevent it from happening in the future?

Positive Responses

  • Provide details of a missed deadline
  • Acknowledge how the candidate was at fault
  • Give clear indication what the candidate learned and how they worked toward improvement

Problematic Responses

  • “I always leave on time. I can only do so much in a day.”
  • Place the blame on someone else

Before you say your work is finished, what do you do to ensure you’ve done your best?

Positive Responses

  • Reveal the candidate has a system to review work and catch errors
  • Express willingness to spend extra time to ensure work is correct
  • Indicate willingness to ask for assistance when needed

Problematic Responses

  • Include complaints about processes and the inability, or lack of time, to check work
  • Express over-confidence
  • Reveal a “nobody else cares, so I don’t care” attitude

Tell me about a time you had to follow directions or guidelines that you didn’t agree with.

Positive Reponses

  • Show directions were followed
  • Indicate suggestions for improvement were offered later
  • Reveal a positive attitude was maintained

Problematic Responses

  • Imply directions were ignored or bypassed
  • Give evidence of anger or frustration
  • Include negative comments about guidelines or the management team

Experts at Finding Reliable Staff

Screening and interviewing job candidates—and asking the right questions to reveal a person’s reliability—take a lot of effort. At WSi, we understand the details that matter in finding top talent to meet your business requirements and respect your work culture. Contact us today for expert assistance in finding the right staff.