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5 Questions to Ask Your Candidate to Determine Their Work Ethic

Part of making a successful new hire and putting together a good team for your company is identifying people with a good work ethic. Of course, their skill set and experience come into play, but assessing how hard they work can be difficult before they are on the job. Here are a few questions that you should ask during an interview to get a good idea of the candidate’s work ethic.  

Ask Them to Define Work Ethic   

Examining a potential employee’s work ethic is important because even a candidate with all the skills you are looking for will be useless without motivation. Experience and qualifications are not the only things they need to be successful within the organization. During your interview, ask the candidate to define work ethic and what it means to them. This will give you a better idea of whether or not they have what you are looking for.   

Describe a Time You Went “The Extra Mile”  

To truly determine whether or not a candidate has a good work ethic, you need to ask behavioral interview questions. These questions will help you evaluate their experience as well as work ethic. Ask, “Can you describe a time you went the extra mile in the workplace?” This will give them a chance to not only tell you about a specific experience, tasks, and skills needed to get a job done, but they will also tell you how they went above and beyond. Their answer will tell you whether or not they would be willing to do the same in your organization.   

What Do You Do During Down Time at Work?  

In fast-paced work settings, it is important to keep things moving. Ask them what they do when they have finished their tasks at work or hit a slow time. Highly motivated individuals will find things to work on even during their downtime.   

Tell a Story About When You Worked the Hardest   

Ask the individual you are interviewing to tell you about a time when they worked their hardest. You should also ask about what motivated them to push themselves beyond what they had done before. Their answers to these questions will tell you what motivates them in the workplace and when they are willing to work hard.   


Provide an Example of a Time You Had to Work Harder Than Normal  

Another great question to ask when you are trying to determine their work ethic is to ask for a specific example of a time they had to work harder than normal on a task. Occasionally, a task may take longer than normal or need reworking. A candidate’s ability to be flexible and continue to work hard is important.   

These questions are a great place to start when you are trying to determine work ethic in an interview. If you are looking for reliable, hard-working candidates, partnering with a staffing agency can help. These agencies will source and vet potential new hires and examine their work ethic based on your desires. The professionals at GoSource can help your company find the perfect candidate for the job at hand.