Every employer wants reliable candidates. You need a worker who will show up on time for shifts and work to the best of their ability. It’s just good business sense to hire people who will help your business achieve its goals. Reliable candidates are easier on you, but also easier on the rest of your workforce—as your long-term staff will be the ones picking up the slack if a candidate turns out to be unreliable.

Interview questions to ask

To help determine a candidate’s reliability, you can ask targeted interview questions. These include the following:

  • Why do you want to work here?/Why do you want this job?

You want to hire a candidate who wants to work for you and is highly interested in the job role for which you’re hiring. With this question, a candidate should make it apparent they’ve done their homework and researched your company, and they should show excitement for the job. Otherwise, you may be interviewing someone who is just looking for any job and will be apt to leave your company at a moment’s notice when something else comes along.

  • What are your career goals over the next five years?

This question helps you gauge a candidate’s potential long-term commitment to your company. Do they see themselves growing and advancing with you? Or does it seem like they’ll put in a year or so and move on to something new? You can help encourage the answer to this question by describing the role to which they’ve applied and the growth opportunities your business offers.

  • What is your perfect work environment?

Cultural fit is huge and impacts how long a candidate will stick with you. If they feel comfortable and can thrive in your work environment, they’re likely to be happy, well-adjusted and productive. But if they don’t fit well in the style of environment your company provides, you’ll probably be dealing with turnover sooner or later.

  • Describe a difficult situation you faced at work and how you handled it.

A candidate’s ability to handle conflict is also a good indication of how reliable they’ll be. Look for signs they are well equipped to handle conflict in a constructive, positive and effective way.

  • How do you handle personal situations that pull you away from work?

Another way to ask this question is: Describe your ideal work/life balance. Obviously, things are going to happen while a worker is employed with you—family members get sick, home emergencies occur, etc. The best candidates are good communicators and willing to work with you to cover situations at home while also considering their commitment to the workplace.

Work with your recruiter

If you’ve partnered with a staffing agency for new hires, your recruiter can also help you screen potential candidates for reliability. Talk to your recruiter to determine what screening services they offer.

Check out McGrath Systems!

We work with employers to locate and place actuarial, light industrial, office, engineering, HR and IT candidates. To learn more, contact us today!


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